I was wondering when my muse was going to lift my hand to the Zion Ranch story. It seems she had to control her anger. She loves children. She knows they are precious.
First, a bit of history on the FLDS.
FLDS - Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS Church) is one of the largest Mormon fundamentalist denominations and one of America's largest practitioners of plural marriage. The FLDS Church emerged in the 1930s when its founding members left The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). The Latter-day Saints renounced polygamy The FLDS and the LDS Church are distinct and separate religious denominations, having no currently existing ties.
FLDS headquarters are in Hildale, Utah, possibly shifting, as of late, to Eldorado, Texas, where the raided temple was built by FLDS members.
Warren Jeffs, who succeeded his father Rulon Jeffs in 2002, was leading the church for nearly two years even as a wanted man for sex-crimes. He was on the run, and on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List, until being apprehended in August of 2006. Jeffs was found guilty on September 25, 2007 of two counts of being an accomplice to rape and was sentenced to ten years to life in prison.
Now we need to see the reaction by the mothers of the FLDS ranch in El Dorado, Texas, to really appreciate the complexities of what has happened and what is happening…
Mothers at Zion Ranch Compound Plead to See Children
"My children were kidnapped for no reason," says one mother,
"They need their mother. I am a good mother and I want to be with my children," she added.
"My 11-year-old is being questioned about being with men and marriage, she doesn't know anything about that" said the second mother.
"I can't believe this is happening. It's outrageous this is happening in America." says the third mother.
As the buses swept children down a two-lane country highway and into another world, mothers calmed their young by singing a hymn of struggle and deliverance:
In the spirit of prayer! In the spirit of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care,
and bids me at my Father's throne
make all my wants and wishes known.
KSL.com reports – Texas Defends Separation
"The fact the children are being violated in mass numbers in America today, it saddens me beyond expression. Their environment is likened unto a pedophile's Disneyland."
Rena Mackert claims her sister was once held captive by what she calls "the cult" and threatened with blood atonement, i.e. death, when she tried to run away.
Her Life in the FLDS Compound
“Childhood within a fundamentalist Mormon community means little education, regular beatings, rigorously enforced household duties and, for girls, an arranged marriage in their teens culminating in a lifetime of subservience.”
"My father had four wives yet he couldn't keep his hands off his daughters," Rena Mackert, one of 31 siblings, said yesterday. "One of my sisters had five sons, all sodomised by their father."
Referring to her own experience, Rena's sister, Kathleen Mackert, said: "I was required to perform oral sex on my father when I was seven, and it escalated from there. The abuse was rampant. Physical, sexual, emotional — we experienced all three. Some of it at the hands of the men, some of it at the hands of the wives."
They spoke out as child protection workers continued to interview 416 children removed from the compound because they were at risk of, or were already victims of, neglect and sexual abuse.
"Women are vessels to be worn out in childbirth, and girls are having children at age 14, 15, 16," she said. "We have a high tolerance for religious freedom … and anything goes in the name of religion."
Yet it was the following plural marriage information I found during my search that truly sent my muse over the edge!
Plural Marriage (Shortage of wives caused by plural marriage)
Critics of polygamy in the early LDS church point out that polygamy may have caused a shortage of brides in the early LDS community, citing quotes by church leader Heber C. Kimball who said (addressing departing missionaries): "Brethren, I want you to understand that it is not to be as it has been heretofore. The brother missionaries have been in the habit of picking out the prettiest women for themselves before they get here, and bringing on the ugly ones for us; hereafter you have to bring them all here before taking any of them, and let us all have a fair shake.”
On another occasion, he said "You are sent out as shepherds to gather sheep together; and remember that they are not your sheep ... do not make selections before they are brought home and put into the fold."
A poem by thepoetryman with an angry muse at the helm...
and fatigued souls shriek throughout the far-flung air.
“Hush now, children. Don’t you cry”, this world, ever cruel,
now calls out, knowing your father’s made a mess of you.
“Hush now, children.”
O! Our hanging beast and its hunger for flesh and blood
seeping into America’s sovereign compound
where mite-edged outrage dances away on half-listened heels.
The knotted face collapses out and over this world’s shattered angels
as they guide the blade down the center of the field,
burdened by the labor, as old men grind their cruel, bent backs
over their blameless slaves of sacrificial intercourse,
this weight of fathers from whose hands they’re conquered
will hike their lashed rumps up in a dismal and obedient procession.
“Hush now, children. Hush.”
Is our rage enough to battle these wicked beasts of progeny who’s reason
is as unsentimental as the stone?
They won’t seem so evil once we’ve found our next war to wage.
Do we even dream outside of this infinite drain?
Do we imagine that someone will always care for those precious?
“Hush now, children.”
We adults will never be too far away, or too hideous.
© 2008 mrp/tpm
Rolling along "U"... un blogger SCEPTIK - UnAmerican Revolution - uncomfortably numb - Urban Unrest