On Saturday I spent a lot of time talking about the 2005 testimony before the Texas Legislature about the FLDS and why Texas needs to pass H.B. no. 3006. Sore Toes and a Bleeding Heart has also blogged about it. (for my Saturday posts, start here, and keep hitting ‘older posts.’)
What does this have to do with us today? Is there anything here of interest to people not so obsessively interested in the YFZ case as I’ve been? Why, yes, there is. Read on…
Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtless testifies again. He says he’s personally looking forward to the day he can slap handcuffs on Warren Jeffs. He says one of the problems is a ‘burden of proof’ issue, but they want to bring any and all charges they can, and they may be using Blackbore, the head of the Canadian sect to help testify against Warren because they hate each other. This is interesting because Krakauer previously testified about something the Canadian group was doing as proof of how horrible Jeffs was.
He says he believes that right now Jeffs could be sodomizing boys in the compound, but how do they know? How do they find out?
Well, right now, you could be doing something nefarious in your home, too, but how does the government know? How will it find out? Can and should the state invade your home just to be sure you’re behaving yourself?
What constitutes ‘probable cause?’
Here’s the background that I could discover on the charges that Jeffs has abused little boys:
According to this story on Rick Ross’ website, (an extremely hostile anti-FLDS source) the first allegation of sodomizing a child came out as a result of lost memories brought out via hypnosis, a highly suspect and completely unreliable method:
“the first victim, Clayne, revealed the abuse under hypnosis.
Still, it was only after Clayne’s suicide in 2001 that his two brothers, Brent and Brandon decided to come forward.”
According to FLDS View: (a very pro-FLDS source by somebody who used to be in the FLDS and claims to have known these people)
“About 5-6 years ago Claine’s girlfriend left him and took his child with her. He was very depressed. Instead of getting anyone in a church to comfort Claine, Wardl [Clain’s father, and somebody who had left the FLDS] took him to a psychiatrist who hypnotized Claine and conjured up some “repressed” (recreated) memories.
After Claine died, this same psychiatrist was called in to help the grieving. Brent, under hypnosis conjured up his story.
The worst part was the lawsuit was filed and a few months later, another brother, David, passed away from a heart attack at his own home. And so this father and son (Ward and Brent) in their many speeches before the press included David to their list of sons abused by Warren.”
So two independent and somewhat antagonistic to one another sources confirm that at least the initial allegation of abuse came from the result of hypnosis, a very unreliable source for evidence. I’d like to know if there is any indication that Brent also was hypnotized to remember this. Also, so far as I can find, no criminal charges have ever been filed in this case- it remains a civil suit being filed on a contingency basis, meaning the lawyers want a cut of anything the plaintiffs win.
Back to the testimony in the Texas State Legislature. When we went hunting down the above rabbit trail. we left the Utah AG says Jeffs could be doing anything in his home and how do they know. [update: the case was settled by default when Warren defied his lawyer’s advice and just ignored the suit, practicing his ‘answer them nothing’ doctrine].
One of the Texans says, “Well, down here, we’ll get ’em.”
And that’s how we got the great Polygamist Round Up of 2008. And the reason this matters is that the State of Texas isn’t done infringing on the rights of the people yet.
You can read the bill Hilderbran tried to have passed here.
Then you’ll want to read his latest attempt here. That’s a current piece of legislative fascism.
And do not miss the assessment of this piece of legislative mischief at Grits for Breakfast, too.
In the comments, blogger Michael give his take:
the most egregious section of 4255 is the addition of new section 161.001(c), which would allow CPS to remove children from a home WITHOUT a court order and WITHOUT showing that it made reasonable efforts to avoid the removal.
An anonymous commenter follows that up by pointing out:
The federal aid statute requires they provide service before removal whenever reasonable, without that provision Texas is ineligible to receive the aid.
That could get interesting.
Is there a problem with under-aged marriages in the FLDS? Well, there may have been once, the state found 12 people to charge out of several hundred. But there haven’t been any under-aged marriages in two years. Do you kidnap hundreds of children, make thousands of totally unrelated families subject to substandard, over-eager, zealous CPS workers, make homeschooling parents vulnerable to felony charges of truancy, and, make it illegal to ‘purport’ to be married by giving the appearance of being married, even when nobody involved in that scenario, whether it be a pecadillo or ‘spiritual’ marriage relationship, is being duped? Are these really the best tools to use to stop the abuse of under aged girls, if such abuse still exists? Is stopping under-aged marriage really what the state of Texas is after, or did the above testimony sound like what they really wanted was to wipe out the FLDS religion?
A year ago I quoted the follow comment by Cicero over at Redstate. I still like it just as much as ever:
…just because we think a group is distasteful does not mean that all methods should be tolerated in the suppression of that group. We must ever be wary of arming the government with tools and weapons that might someday be turned on us. We can not always assume we or reasonable people will always be in control of the government. I think that this warning should be remembered when considering events in connection with the raid on the FLDS ranch in Texas.
Read Hilderbran’s new bill and think on those words.