Religious group under investigation for child abuse…52 children taken for their safety.

52 girls removed from Texas compound  

 The road to hell and from hell for 52 young girls and women.

ELDORADO, Texas – Child welfare officials are scrambling to find foster homes for dozens of girls removed from a secretive West Texas religious retreat built by polygamist leader Warren Jeffs after a 16 year old living there complained of physical abuse.

Officials from Texas Child Protective Services, escorted by state troopers, took 52 girls, ages 6 months to 17 years, from the remote retreat on Friday afternoon.

By the end of the day, 18 were put legally into state custody, and CPS spokeswoman Marleigh Meisner said interviews would continue Saturday. A warrant has been issued for at least one individual.

The girls put in state custody were believed to be in danger, Meisner said. Those are the ones we believe have been abused or they are in imminent risk of harm, and it would not be safe for those children to remain in the compound,” she said.

Child welfare officials were looking for foster homes for the girls, most of whom have rarely been outside the insular world of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They were being housed for now at a civic center, she said.

“We’re dealing with children that aren’t accustomed to the outside world, so we’re trying to be very sensitive to their needs,” Meisner said.

The investigation began with a call Monday alleging physical abuse of a 16 year old girl living there, Meisner said. Authorities first arrived at the compound Thursday evening. They interviewed and searched through the night.

On Friday, a search warrant and arrest warrant were issued.

The search warrant sought records dealing with the birth of children to a 16 year old and any records listing a marriage between a 50 year old man and the girl, according to the San Angelo Standard-Times, which cited court records released late Friday in Tom Green County.

The individual listed in the arrest warrant had not been located by Friday evening, said Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Tela Mange. She said she could not reveal whose name was on the warrant.

   Standard~Times photo by Brian ConnellyTwo First Baptist Church buses were escorted today by several law enforcement officers out of the FLDS compound near Eldorado. The buses carried dozens of people, mostly girls.

A small white bus that left the compound accompanied by state troopers was filled with children, Meisner said. She could not immediately say how many.

The bus was filled with what appeared to be mostly girls, dressed in conservative long sleeve dresses.

The ranch covers roughly 1,700 acres. It is north of this two stoplight town, down a narrow paved road. Authorities blocked access to the compound’s gate, keeping onlookers miles away.

State officials said they did not know how many people lived at the retreat, but local officials in 2006 put the number at about 150, as members of the reclusive church moved from a community on the Arizona~Utah line.

The congregation, known as FLDS, has been led by Jeffs since his father’s death in 2002. It is one of several groups that split from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, based in Salt Lake City, decades after it renounced polygamy in 1890.

Standard-Times photo by Brian ConnellyMore than 20 Texas game wardens approached this morning from U.S. Highway 277 South toward the YFZ Ranch compound. A CPS official said they are helping with the investigation.

In November, Jeffs was sentenced to two consecutive sentences of five years to life in prison in Utah for being an accomplice to the rape of a 14 year old girl who wed her cousin in an arranged marriage in 2001.

In Arizona, Jeffs is charged as an accomplice with four counts each of incest and sexual conduct with a minor stemming from two arranged marriages between teenage girls and their older male relatives. He is jailed in Kingman, Ariz., awaiting trial.

The Eldorado retreat, about 160 miles northwest of San Antonio, is on a former exotic game ranch. The church bought the property in 2004 for $700,000 and began an ambitious construction program anchored by an 80 foot tall, gleaming white temple.

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Thank you Wikipedia, Standard~Tiumes, AP News and Michelle Roberets, AP writer

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In July 2004, Warren Jeffs’ nephew, Brent Jeffs, filed a lawsuit against him alleging that in the late 1980s his uncle sodomized him in the Salt Lake Valley compound then owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS). Brent Jeffs said he was five or six years old at the time, and that Warren Jeffs’ brothers, also named in the lawsuit, watched and participated in the abuse. Two of Warren Jeffs’ other nephews also made similar abuse claims against him. One of the alleged victims, Clayne Jeffs, committed suicide with a firearm after accusing Warren Jeffs of sexually assaulting him as a child.

This man abuses not only girls but boys…there are no laws for this type of personality.

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This group are also religious white supremacists in sheeps clothing…here are a few of their beliefs…

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center published the following statements of Jeff’s:

  • “The black race is the people through which the devil has always been able to bring evil unto the earth.”
  • “Cain was cursed with a black skin and he is the father of the Negro people. He has great power, can appear and disappear. He is used by the devil, as a mortal man, to do great evils.”
  • “Today you can see a black man with a white woman, et cetera. A great evil has happened on this land because the devil knows that if all the people have Negro blood, there will be nobody worthy to have the priesthood.”
  • “If you marry a person who has connections with a Negro, you would become cursed.”

I can not begin to tell you how this news saddens, angers and infuriates me. So many issues come to the surface in this article.

  • Should church and state inferfold?
  •  
  • Should prearranged, under aged marriages be allowed?
  •  
  • Should the state be the judge on polygamy?
  •  
  • If the state tries children under the age of 18 for adult crimes and accepts them for service of their country, should they not be able to marry under that age?

There are more issues, I am sure…

But, my guess for action…would be of and for the safety of the children.

 

What people do in the name of God amazes me.  Hatred, incest, adultery, sodomy, rape, murder and child abuse. 

I have heard people ask “WHY did God do this to me…HOW could God have done this…WHY did God forsake me.”  These type of questions have always puzzled me.  Perhaps we pray to a different God.

But right now, I pray that these children recover from these hideous acts and that they find peace and understanding.

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

~ by thebabyboomerqueen on April 5, 2008.

One Response to “Religious group under investigation for child abuse…52 children taken for their safety.”

  1. Kids are America’s most precious and most at-risk citizens. With drugs and peer pressure facing them on a daily basis, it’s no wonder that mental illness and drug abuse is at an all time high. Problems facing American children.

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