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Let's be clear: religious freedom does not supersede basic human rights. It does not override the basic (AND FIRST) principle of the United States of America, that being the freedom to life, LIBERTY and the pursuit of happiness. How can you know happiness if you live in a cave of fear and lies? When you're not allowed beyond the "sacred" doors of your cave? When you're threatened with "eternal damnation" - which, let me explain how it's different in the Mormon/Fundy religion. It's not Hell with Satan torturing your soul, it's being cast into Outer Darkness. Or rather, your soul is destroyed, horrors! *eye roll* Freaking religion. Anyway. Back to the rant.

So now we have these "poor mothers" crying to the media about their poor children, the lies the CPS is telling them, yadda yadda. Let me tell you who these "mothers" are. They are Merrill Jessop's daughters. Merrill Jessop is the right hand man of Warren Jeffs and the one that took over the running of the YFZ ranch after his arrest (And the former husband to Carolyn Jessop, current talk-show gal who wrote the book Escaped.) These women - his daughters - were also "given" to Warren a few years back to add to his cadre of wives and to get Merrill moving up the ladder towards prophet-hood himself. These women are still in contact with Warren, in jail. But yes, let's all sway our opinion towards sympathizing with these "poor women" and children. (My sympathies lie with the children, I thank you.)

These women sat in chairs in the "temple" and watched their under-aged (under 16 in the state of Texas with parental consent, under 18 without) daughters be married to whomever the "prophet" said. Be it their UNCLES, their COUSINS, or in Warren Jeffs' case, their STEP-SON. (Warren Jeffs took his father's wives when he became prophet. TOOK THEM. Ahem.) They sat in chairs outside the "sealing room" where those men raped those girls (oh, excuse me, consummated? *gag*) to make their marriages "legitimate." Those mothers held their daughter's babies while their husbands beat the ever loving shit out of them for having an opinion. Those mothers cowered "peacefully" on the floor while Warren Jeffs preached about how to "make a sweet mother" and proceeded to yank half of one of his wives' hair out of her head and kicked her in the ribs. In a church service.

Those poor mothers were poor women at one point: the point when they were forced into a marriage. But then they became complicit. They turned a deaf ear to their daughters. They turned a deaf ear to a few of their sons who were thrown away to keep the competition in check. They forgot their own tears, they swallowed their rage, and they made their daughters suffer the same fate.

They do not have my sympathy. They abused their children, they raised them to believe utter lies and ugliness, and they should be held accountable. (The young ones that haven't been completely turned into monsters should be distributed across the state to various womens shelters to get the help they need.) I swear to (the) god (of your choice), if they let these bastards off, they'll just go deeper into hiding. Point in fact: Short Creek raid in 1953, they got off. This spawned the LeBaron family (that I've talked about before - the ones that had my former co-worker tied up in a goat pen for most of her formative years?) that raised assassins that killed the other leader, Rulon Allred. The Kingston family, the Bristlines... all the modern creeps that the weirdos in Big love are based on. They get weirder after every scare. I can't imagine how they can get worse, but they will. *tears out hair*

And I read today that a lot of the FLDS men are getting "sympathy" from their LDS "brethren." GAAAH!! See?!?! If the Mormon Church really hated them so much, why oh why did they leave them there to fester in the desert sun for over 50 years?? And then the Utah polygamy task force dared to bitch about the Texas Rangers "ruining" their (the Utahns) rapport with the other cult leaders?! Holy crap, did I fall into bizarro land? I'm so proud to be a Texan, y'all. I mean, I'm always proud to be a Texan, but shit on a shingle, this makes me want to kiss those cowboys right on the lips for getting in there and doing it right.


( 100 comments — Leave a comment )
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Apr. 16th, 2008 01:39 pm (UTC)
You are awesome.
Apr. 16th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
Well, that's what my icon says... Hahahahah. <3
Apr. 16th, 2008 01:40 pm (UTC)
I don't normally condone violence or torture or anything like that...But some people just make me want to do not nice things...And then I remember that I do not want to go down to their level. I'm glad you discuss this on your lj, as terrible as it is to read.
Apr. 16th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
I'm for the "stick them in jail and let it be known they hurt kids" kind of torture. Let the criminals deal with them, Oz style.
Apr. 16th, 2008 01:55 pm (UTC)
I keep seeing articles about these women boo-hooing that they can't have access to their kids. Well, not if they're going to turn around and put them straight back into forced sexual slavery! Monsters, indeed. *shudders*
Apr. 16th, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's EXACTLY what they're going to do. OH! And it's important to note that two of them weren't even LIVING at the YFZ ranch. Also, their children (boys) are grown so... WTF?
Apr. 16th, 2008 01:55 pm (UTC)
This whole situation makes my brain bleed.
And you my dear rock my world!
Apr. 16th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
I am SO WORRIED that they'll get off like the last time. I'm hoping not. Which... is why I'm not shutting up. :D
Apr. 16th, 2008 01:59 pm (UTC)
It makes me ill with rage. Please, please, please, let this get those kids *free*. I would hope that any woman or man who left the church would come talk to them, that any 'thrown away' boy would come and talk to them, that the littlest ones are so little they soon forget and that the *truth* of what the fuck goes on their is smeared across every newspaper front page and tv screen.

I have zero tolerance for this kind of shite. Just, zero. Every 'elder' who was complicit in what happened should be in jail, now, forever.


Some YFZ woman on the news last night, all 'i know that what they *the children* are going through right now is worse than anything they went through here' FUCKING BULLSHIT.
Apr. 16th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
They need to go to homes FAR AWAY from the American West. There are plyg communes in Utah, Az, Nevada, Idaho, N and S Dakota, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas (but not for long, whooo!) GAH.

I'm right there with you re: who's complicit. Hell to the yeah.

I think being beaten and raped is A LOT WORSE than getting immunizations. I mean... COME THE FUCK ON.
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Apr. 16th, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC)
A saw bits and pieces on CNN last night. It was funny to see Anderson Cooper and the person reporting on the story basically calling bullshit on the "poor, grieving mothers."

Anderson (paraphrased): So, d'ya believe 'em?

Reporter (paraphrased): Oh, shit no.

Anderson (paraphrased): Why not?

Reporter (paraphrased): I had to pull teeth to get even names. Let alone ages. Plus, they all answered my questions the exact same way, using the exact same words.

Anderson (paraphrased): Yeah, sounded to me like they're reading from a script, too.

Reporter (paraphrased): Let's just saying they're trying to use the media to drum up sympathy, and doing a shitty job of it, too.

Anderson (paraphrased): Gee! Ya think?

Reporter (paraphrased): Ex-FLDS members who've escaped from these wackaloons say they're lying sacks of shit, every last one. Plus, everything I've heard and seen since I've been talking to these people says to me that the State of Texas is the only good guy here because, sheet, these people are kree-pee.

Anderson (paraphrased): AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Busted!

Then they go one to Boutiful, BC where they interview another lying sack of shit showing "sympathy" for his brethren. They said he was some Bishop in the FLDS and got tossed out on his ear by Warren Jeffs.

Reporter (paraphrased): Okay, when the Texas Rangers went ape on the FLDS compound, they found a row of beds inside the temple that *ahem* had been used. What do you say to that?

Laying Sack of Shit (paraphrased): Oh, I'm sure it was for the family who was responsible for caretaking the temple.

Reporter's expression: Wow! You are a lying sack of shit!

What really got me with the bishop up in British Columbia is that he's all bragging that he's got more than 100 kids and something like 22 wives. Then he goes on to brag that he's not a very good father, and really it's "the fillies" who want to have the kids and he's just obliging, and that the only reason why he was out of bed on a Sunday instead of lounging around and taking it easy was because reporter-guy was a guest.

I mean, what the fuck? Are you kidding me? That's a case of not even trying to win someone over to your side.

My favorite part of the piece? While they're on this guy's ranch, they show a film of the "quarters" for women and their children and note that it looks exactly like a low-rent motel with no windows. Okay, I understand looking like a hotel with 22 wives and more than 100 kids, but where the fuck are the windows? Seriously. Where the fuck are the windows? I don't know why that that creeped me out more than anything, but it really, really did creep me out.

Anyway, I had to shut the thing off in the middle of the interview with the Bountiful guy because he was making me physically ill.

Edited at 2008-04-16 02:14 pm (UTC)
Apr. 16th, 2008 02:32 pm (UTC)
I love this summary. I hope everyone realizes how absurd these people are.
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Apr. 16th, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC)
Oh hon. This just makes me so sick to my stomach. And you know what? I'm startin' to think that maybe the Christian church as run by menfolk? Have just fucked the whole thing up. I'm not so much with the believing anymore. The ideals, yeah, the love thy neighbor, yeah. The patriarchical stuffs and such, not so much. In fact, I'm just not sure I believe or want to believe anymore and I sure as hell can't talk to my family about it. I sho' don't feel like anybody's eye is on me, sparrow or not.
Apr. 16th, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty much anti-religion because of the menfolk running the show. Well, that and I have no belief in divinity, BUT ANYWAY. Yes. Men. Controlling women through fear, teaching them to raise their babies in that fear... FUUUUUUUCK YOOOOOOOUUUUUUU.

one of the most freeing moments of my life was when I said out loud that I don't believe in a god of any kind. And didn't fear retribution. ...you know, smiting and shit. Hee! \o/
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Apr. 16th, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC)
Devil's Advocate Point -- how do you reconcile that Religious Freedom *IS* a basic human right? How do you handle conflicts between the fundamental rights of a human? Can we legitimately decide that for those not in our care?
Apr. 16th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC)
Because "your" right to religious freedom stops at the point where it begins to infringe and violate the fundamental rights of others.

In other words, you don't get to violate the rights of others in the name of your religion, and claim that its your "right" to do so.

Satanists have the fundamental right to practice their religion in this country. They can talk about the devil and worship the devil all they want. But their right to practice their religion doesn't encompass the ability to perform human sacrifices and murder people. Why? Because doing so violates that person's right to life.

If we aren't going to allow the Satanists to commit murder, we sure as shit are not going to allow the FLDS to commit child molestation and rape in the name of their religion.
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Apr. 16th, 2008 02:37 pm (UTC)
This whole thing is so disgusting. It's so depressing that this shit still happens, but thanks for giving us the real story.
Apr. 16th, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)
I've waited for well over 15 years for something like this to happen. I am SO HAPPY it's all coming to light, but I'm very worried that public opinion could be swayed. Let's hope not!
Apr. 16th, 2008 02:59 pm (UTC)
This is just getting a to a point of absurd. I do not agree with the universal notion that mother's know best. Because as you so aptly point out, in this case, they are just bat-shit crazy. I'm thinking of those kids, and how hard its going to be to adjust to the world outside the compound. The thing is, we know a family that's part of a Quaker community in PA and people think they are crazy. But from what I've seen, everyone's treated well, they just don't have electricity and video games. That's a decision to live in a different way within American law; this church is NOT.

Thank you for posting.
Apr. 16th, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, mother's DON'T know best. Case in point: Andrea "let's take a bath, kids!" Yates. I mean, good LORD.

You've got it exactly right: they're not like the Amish. Hell, the Amish allow for Rumspringa (sp?) where older teens get to live like everyone outside the group and decide if the Amish life is for them. Um... there is NOTHING like that with the FLDS, because that's "Evil" to them. What ever.

(Thank you for reading and keeping a sane head!)
Apr. 16th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC)
This whole thing makes me sick. The horrors of your past Mormon posts have always been disturbing, to say the least, but to actually read and hear justifications for this behavior from the participants' mouths? GAH. I don't think there are words to describe how disgusted and sickened I am by this turn of events.
Apr. 16th, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)
I know. These women are soooooo reading from a script, though, so hopefully everyone is picking up on that and will keep a clear head about them.

Mighty hammer of justice, SMITE THEM!
Apr. 16th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC)
I have no words.

On second thought, I have quite a few of them, but none of them are repeatable in public.

I will say this. A mother who cares that little for the welfare of their children? Isn't a mother in any sense but the biological. They've forfeited everything else.
Apr. 16th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
Hahahaha, you can say ALL THOSE WORDS (and more!) in this journal, should the need arise!

And ditto on the "you don't know motherhood from a hole in the ground." Jesus.
Apr. 16th, 2008 04:39 pm (UTC)
You are awesome and sharp and I agree wholeheartedly with this post.
Apr. 16th, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
What's awesome is you keeping up with all this and knowing the charlatans for who they are! And for your hilarious icon. :D
Apr. 16th, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)
I just started reading Escape, and she has quite a bit to say about Jessop's daughters, none of it positive. *sigh* As soon as these women stopped protecting their children from abuse, they became perpetrators. And if Utah had gotten off its ass a long time ago, these people would have been stopped.
Apr. 16th, 2008 07:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah... his girls are not on the awesome list, for sure.

Utah WON'T get off it's ass because they're so busy trying to distance themselves from the polygamists (Mormons aren't plygs! We don't do that! What?) that they're like Norman Bates at the end of Psycho with the fly on his hand.

(Deleted comment)
Apr. 16th, 2008 08:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the recidivism rate is incredibly high among this group. A lot go back to "main line" Mormonism, then get dissatisfied with it and form their own little groups with polygamy back in the frame work. The problem is Joe Smith creating it in the first place. Bastard.
Apr. 16th, 2008 08:41 pm (UTC)
Those mothers having been raised in that community (I'm assuming) were those girls at one time. They've been raped, beaten and more importantly brainwashed from here and back. They don't offer their opinions because they don't have one to offer that isn't an extension of their husbands and churchs. This is the reason why such sickness ends up taking hold in such communities because you've got these kids that grow up to be the ultimate product of their environment and the cycle keeps continuing. (Not saying that some people haven't been able to walk away, but some people are just more savy and/or stronger than others. Or just plain lucky.)Not that my first reaction isn't to get a good dose of smiting on.

Human rights? More like God Rights since He created us and can do what He wants. And he told me to beat the homeless and kill prostitutes. IT'S TRUE!
Apr. 16th, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
Well, God told me to rape YOU and then use your skull as a drinking vessel (only on the Sabbath, because you're holy, who knew?) and that I should herd all the wild moose into a pen and slaughter them, because they are really satanic.

Or some shit. Whatever gets me money, basically. :D
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Apr. 16th, 2008 09:09 pm (UTC)
Just...yes to everything you said. Everything.

Stoney321 for president!
Apr. 17th, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC)
Oh, noes! I'm too lazy to be President! *looks for side gig of Court Jester* :D
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Apr. 16th, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
I have sympathy for those women, in the sense that I recognize that at one point, they were the little girls who were raped and forced into marriage. That they have never in their lives had a real choice about the direction their lives were going to take. However, by this point, they believe that this is "right," that it's what they want, because they're so brainwashed.

And my sympathy for them does not, in any way, extend to condoning what they allowed to happen to their children, or to letting them have those children back to put them right back into that horrific situation.
Apr. 16th, 2008 11:07 pm (UTC)
Right. I will say, that these women to which I'm referring to have been outside the compound and know what lies out there. They like being the daughter of #2 and married to #1. They get the good stuff. They know.

The ones that don't? They have my pity and support.
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Apr. 17th, 2008 01:04 am (UTC)
There was a photo along with the corresponding article in our newspaper today and FOR REALS, STONEY, ONE LADY LOOKED FRIDA KAHLO. It was freaky. I got chills. Jesus Johnny Jump-up Christ, and are we AT ALL SURPRISED the LDS church is flailing anxiously for its bastard stepchild? NO. OH THE POOR WIMMIN AND CHILDREN THEY'LL START GETTING IDEAS. AND THINKING.
Apr. 17th, 2008 01:45 pm (UTC)
HAHAHAHAHA Uni-brow. I am SO UNHAPPY with the Utahns taking this stance. FUCK YOU assholes. *clings to you*
Apr. 17th, 2008 02:06 am (UTC)
NPR played some of the crying mothers on my drive home tonight and I wanted to ask them why the hell they let someone do those horrific things to their own children.
Apr. 17th, 2008 01:45 pm (UTC)
Mmm hmm! And maybe smack them about the head a little bit while you ask them that? ;)
Apr. 17th, 2008 03:00 am (UTC)
Heeeeeeeee. I love being the end line of the LDS rant post. xoxoxoxoxo

I read a lot about the raid at first, but now people are coming out of the woodwork to excuse what they did on religious grounds and it's making me feel so bad I don't click the links anymore. How anybody can believe those little girls agreed to that kind of life is -- well, it's beyond deluded and stupid. It makes me despair for the human race. BUT ANYWAY. ::hugs you so hard::

Yours in godlessness,

Apr. 17th, 2008 01:46 pm (UTC)
Hahahaha, I thought you'd like that.

See?!?! This is the shit that makes people like us wonder how anyone can believe in a magic sky bully. Feh.

Making this life count, 'cause there ain't another waiting in the wings,

(heee!! <3 <3 <3)
Apr. 17th, 2008 12:06 pm (UTC)
I gotta tell you, before I started reading your posts I didn't really know much about the Mormon religion in general or the really fundementalist Mormons either. I try to be very, very open to whatever religion people want to practice, no matter how controversial I may find it. But this...this is just an atrocity! I fully support whatever actions the authorities in Texas are doing out there. These people need to be stopped! It almost reminds me of the African tribes (I believe it's in Africa, forgive me if I am wrong) that practice female circumcision. It seems like it's always about controlling women! Brainwashing can be such a powerful tool and it is SO scary to think about. I sincerely hope and pray (to my God, who holds everyone equal in His eyes!) that these children can find their own way in the world with their eyes and minds wide open. Thank you for sharing all of your stories with us.
Apr. 17th, 2008 01:43 pm (UTC)
I will say that in my opinion, it isn't a religion. It's a cult. So they don't have "religious freedom" to stand on. (If only the courts will agree with me, right?)

And right, right re: female circumcision. It's AWFUL. It's all about fear and control, and... where's the freedom in that? Exactly. Bah. (And you're welcome.)
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Apr. 17th, 2008 02:26 pm (UTC)
Hi, liz_marcs sent me from the Dark Christianity comm. I'm a recovering Baptist who has been following the FLDS for a while now. I appreciate your insights not only into the FLDS but the mainstream Mormon church. I just finished reading Jon Krakauer's book Under the Banner of Heaven, and as I told my husband, "This is what happens when you think the voice you're hearing is from God, not the little man who lives in your pants."
Apr. 17th, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
Hello! Thanks for feeling comfortable enough to respond - I very much enjoy open discourse over here.

Jon really did an amazing thing with that book: he kept his emotion out of it. (I mean, did he need to inject it with "can you believe this awful crap?" Heh.) Another book you might find fascination (aside from Carolyn Jessop's newest book) is anything by Dorothy Allred Solomon. She has two versions of the same book, one very anti-everything Mormon that's out of print, and the newer version (she's back to being Mormon, but no longer FLDS. It's "Predators, Prey and other Kinfolk." A very good, insightful book that deals with the SHort Creek raid and the weirdness that followed.)
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Apr. 18th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
Hi. I've been reading your LDS/FLDS posts for ages now and while I don't agree with everything you've written I've appreciated the POV and the detailed analysis.

I just have to disagree with you about these women. Absolutely I agree they shouldn't have their children back, and absolutely they're complicit in abuse.

But I think you're missing out how people become complicit? I get that the children and young women are the most urgent problem but I can't see how it helps to throw these women on the bonfire just for being abused longer.

I suppose the POV I come from is that there are stages apparent in leaving any fundamentalist religion and one of them is where we say 'the women are evil for helping', usually just after we get over 'it isn't the religion it's the individuals in the religion'.

And I don't mean that I'm a hippy who sees all abusers as victims and forgives and forgets, but I can't ignore the insidious way it does turn these women into passive mush or even active abusers.

It's just that hate for the women is often used as a way of diffusing the blame, as if they could actually help it and hadn't had all their mechanisms for standing up to it removed.

I had a phase of 'I did so you're all stupid/wrong/bad not to' but now while I can't see them as innocent victims I can see them as victims who aren't as culpable for their actions despite needing to be removed from their children.

Anyway this was all written off the top of my head which is silly in any debate so I'll leave it there. Thanks for the coverage.
Apr. 18th, 2008 02:45 am (UTC)
I think, and she'll probably HULK!SMASH me if I'm wrong, that stoney321's POV is this: at some point, in this situation in particular, the abused becomes the abuser.

Abuse is typically cyclic. Most abusers were, at some point in their life, the abused. And, the abuse they suffered, and perhaps even continue to suffer, was and is horrific. The cycle of abuse is a tragedy that we should all be willing to recognize and confront.

But, the cycle of abuse shouldn't be used in order to categorize and box culpability. And, active participation in the abuse, which is what these women not only condone, but do, isn't something that can be whitewashed because we deeply pity them.

I think that is stoney321's overarching point. Of course the men are culpable. And, of course, we shouldn't be using the women in order to diffuse that culpability away from the men. The fact that society at large does so is illustrative of the fact that we continue to struggle against misogyny. But, most of the women in the sect are culpable, not as proxies of the men, but in their own right, for the actions that they have taken. And, that shouldn't get a free pass (note: I don't think you're necessarily saying that they should get a free pass).

I can pity the girl who was lost to us long ago. The girl who was abused and damaged. The girl who was brainwashed and broken. I can pity that girl, and still hold the woman that she is today accountable for her actions and her inactions.
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Apr. 18th, 2008 02:09 am (UTC)
Aside: Comments I'm hearing about the custody battle that started today -- lawyers are having problems knowing when to object because all of the female children have the same freaking name. So attorneys are like, "Wait. Is that my Sarah? Sarah ___, born on such and such date? Or are you talking about another Sarah."

Apr. 18th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, yeah. I laughed when I heard the sweet little Baptist women in the very beginning getting confused about someone else saying they had a "Ruth Jessop" and "Sarah Barlow" since there will be about fifteen of them. All within a month of each other. :D That's what happens when you have a small gene-pool and a penchant for Biblical names...

(I think I even posted a list of surnames I expected to find: Barlow and Jessop, natch, Harmon, Bristline, Neilson... That's about it.)
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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.

Time Wot It Is

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