Andrew (perspectivism) wrote,

The FLDS Raid

How can people not be freaked out by all this? Seeing a whole town of strangely dressed women crying because an "investigation" took all their babies away?

I get the theoretical possibility that the whole town was just eeeevil...but shouldn't reasonable outsiders be more curious and less bloodthirsty?

Texas took all of a neighborhood's 416 children into "custody" for at least weeks...and took away their phones "to prevent evidence tampering" and...incidentally...prevent any natural social support.

Standard procedure, I guess...for criminals. Not for communities.

All "normal" people apparently want to take these women's kids away & force them into the public schools! Or maybe design special reeducation camps to dispel their particular religious delusions and familial bonds! (I'd love to sculpt curricula to dispel ALL religious delusions...but I'm equal-opportunity like that.)

Where's the empathy? "Normal" people just can't imagine this happening to the innocent? They feel it's somehow justified? (To selectively enforce an anti-polygamist cartel, sometimes you gotta break a few eggs?)

The single best comment I found, in my quick quest to find anyone with sane reactions:

Some background of teenage pregnancies in Texas:

The non-Hispanic white rate is 60 per 1,000, the black rate is 130 per 1,000 and the Hispanic rate is 145 per 1,000.

The rate at YFZ seems to be 45 per 1,000. Twenty[-five] percent lower than the rate for other Texas girls in the polygamous girls’ demographic cohort and more than [68%] lower than among Hispanic girls in Texas.

That indicates that underage girls at YFZ are 20 percent less likely to have sex than other white girls across the state and 60 percent less likely to have sex than Hispanic girls across the state.

The rate of teen pregnancy at YFZ is lower than the rate of teen pregnancy in more than three-quarters of Texas counties.

The best thing the state can do now is apologize. If they are sincere in wanting to protect teenaged women from getting pregnant, they ought to take lessons from YFZ, because they are doing a better job of it than the state as a whole.

In the majority of these cases the male was only a few years older than the female (i.e. the male partner was also a teenager).

This Denver woman apparently played Mrs. O'Leary's cow in all this -- because she just so happens to enjoy repeatedly calling 911, pretending to be abuse victims in different invented scenarios!

And, I love that this is an international "law" argued to prohibit polygamy:

Polygamous marriage contravenes a woman’s right to equality with men, and can have such serious emotional and financial consequences for her and her dependents that such marriages ought to be discouraged and prohibited. The Committee notes with concern that some States parties, whose constitutions guarantee equal rights, permit polygamous marriage in accordance with personal or customary law. This violates the constitutional rights of women… (qtd. in ACLRC, 2004: 9). (Canadian blogger)

...when everyone who's anyone sees that enforced monogamy is actually a cartel among 90% of men to create peaceful stability at the immediate expense of 100% of women and 10% of men.
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>olygamous marriage contravenes a woman’s right to equality with men, and can >have such serious emotional and financial consequences for her and her >dependents

Ignoring the obvious flaw in the reasoning here, it's interesting to note that in order to be consistent with this, they'd have to break up quite a bit of of two-partner marriages.
It's not the multiple marriages the authorities are worried about, it's the age and consent violations routinely swept under the rug. The authorities' reaction is ridiculous, but then that's Texas justice. I'm amazed the FLDSers even set up a compound in Texas. Incidentally, the same thing happened in Arizona in 1953 and it was such a public relations nightmare for the governor that Arizona has pretty much left FLDS alone for the last half century. The urgent problems have been caused because Warren Jeffs is a David Koresh-style fruitcake.

Also to give you an idea of the extent of the ridiculousness of FLDS, half of Colorado City's 8000 residents are descended from two men less than 100 years ago and they have the world's highest incidence of fumarase deficiency-related mental retardation because of the inbreeding.

(Reply to this)
Ironically, I think YFZ was set up because of the recent FLDS problems with authorites in Arizona and it is likely that there are less of the underage/consent concerns there than FLDS as a whole of even Texas as a whole.

Texas may have botched the handling of this, but in general you can't force people to marry underage people. That's the law.

It'll be interesting to handle the source of the call - all of the casework could be for naught if they find that the call was not directly related to something that actually happened. It would be like the entrapment defense for the guy who owned DeLorean Motor Company.
This is just more of the usual crack-down on deviationists that humans do when they feel threatened. The United States is going through one of those periodic bouts of hysterical xenophobia that all human groups seem subject to, and people inside the conceptual walls of the subject society who do not hew closely to that society's norms are seen as intolerable aliens.

I've been barely aware of this story. Up here it's mostly ho hum those nutty Americans at it again with their crazy religious cults and fear-driven crack-downs. But I found this quote tells pretty much all you need to know:
Child welfare officials have removed all 416 children living there from the custody of their parents. The [anonymous] 16-year-old [who purportedly called 911 telling them her husband beat and raped her] has yet to be found.

This is no different from the "Satanic Cult" psychosis that sweeps through communities, even in Canada, every once in a while. Accusations start out plausibly, a community is demonized, and accusations escalate. Expect claims of ritual discipline, ritual torture and ritual murder to follow in short order as law enforcement and family services officials realize that they have nothing to charge these people with and that the official response is so wildly over-blown that the organs of the state have opened themselves up to enough lawsuits to keep a phalanx of lawyers busy for decades.
Read Under the Banner of Heaven.
As usual I'm in disagreement with David Friedman. What we have is not monogamy.

It is nominal monogamy, which is very bad for lower-status men, who generally wind up raising children they are not the biological parent of. Estimates run from 2% to 25% depending on the society, with societies that have a lot of social inequality scoring highest. These are also the societies in which polygamy would have the largest effect on low-status men.

So the choice for low-status men in strongly unequal societies seems to be: nominal monogamy in which they raise other men's children as their own, or polygamy in which they don't even get the illusion of fatherhood.

That said, I'm all for a broader view of marriage, and see no reason why participants in multi-party marriages should not have the same legal protections as in binary marriages.
"As usual I'm in disagreement with David Friedman"

Me too...funny enough, I discussed Polygamy with him directly once, he does NOT like the idea LOL...

I love that this happened. While I think the FDLers are nut jobs, I think almost everyone is a nutjob, so no news there. What is so cool is the very issue you raise. It will force everyone to talk and think about this. - two things happen:

- The government learns what they can get away with.
- The people learn what the government can get away with.

Don't judge the news media as the affect this is having on people, let the waters swell.

Now, separate topic:

"The rate of teen pregnancy at YFZ is lower than the rate of teen pregnancy in more than three-quarters of Texas counties."

So what? That just means that these guys know which girl, er, wife to fuck at which part of the month.

If you have one guy and one girl, you're gonna get a baby eventually.
If you have one guy and many girls, you can actually do a pretty good job of avoiding getting a baby.

But it gets better, the other "women" are motivated to prevent teen pregnancy also, since they want the help and support of the baby sitters the other girls provide. In other words, wait your turn.

Plus, he is comparing a random statistic to a local select group. There are just too many silly statistics to talk about here that undermine the "rate of teen pregnancy" line of thinking to even get into it.

Good point, reichart, that comparing rates of pregnancy is not the same as comparing rates of sexual activity.

I'm guessing the reason there's very little outcry over all this is that, despite the fact that many men are attracted to teenage girls under eighteen, most people also have a deeply-ingrained sense that there's something very wrong with rape. Forcing underage girls into marriage (and polygamous marriages, at that) consists of institutionalized rape.

Of course, we don't know for certain whether any girls, or how many, were forced into marriage. But that's the charge, and historically there have been other charges (substantiated, I gather) of this same crime in other FLDS communities.

If the charge itself proves to be false in this case, then we've got ourselves a real outrage on our hands. Until then, though, it seems like the jury is out, literally, and we shouldn't leap to conclusions one way or the other.

I definitely sympathize with your point, Andrew, about parents being separated from their children. If the charges prove to be false in this case, then it seems like it's time to vote some people out of office or even put them on trial themselves.

Am I missing anything important here, Andrew?
'Forcing underage girls into marriage (and polygamous marriages, at that) consists of institutionalized rape.'
Forcing hundreds of children into state custody against the wishes of the children and their parents is institutionalized kidnapping. I can't imagine any scenario in which I would allow my children to be forced into a marriage they don't want. I can easily imagine government thugs ripping my children away based on some so-called 'crime'.
Not to mention the compulsory indoctrination system called schooling. The crimes of the FLDS at their worst, are a thousand times less dangerous to my life, liberty and happiness than the sanctimonious oppression of the state.
I agree, but I keep these things mostly to myself and close friends. ;) I hate flame wars.

I think it's entirely unethical to remove BABIES based on what "may" happen to them in ten years. Removing those who were in imminent danger, perhaps. But children under five? Nine? Where's the line?

Regardless of the arranged marriage portion of it, last I checked parents were still free to raise their kids with any crazy ass notions they wanted as long as abuse couldn't be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. While I personally entirely disagree that this is the morally correct approach, it is the one that has the support of the majority of the nation-as-a-whole, presumably.

Arguing imminent danger to teenage girls, sure I can see that. But the rest of them, they're treading that very thin line of separation of church and state. Not that this should surprise anyone.
I might have been surprised a few years ago. Tempest has taught me much about human psychology.