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May 14th, 2008
09:25 AM ET

Dear Mr. President... signed, the FLDS

You can read the entire letter from the FLDS to the President here.
You can read the entire letter from the FLDS to the President here.

David M. Reisner
360° Digital Producer

Hey bloggers,

We've been busy with coverage of the WV primary, the situation in Myanmar, and the earthquake in China, but I wanted to share an interesting letter that was sent... to the president... from the FLDS.

An elder of the polygamist sect sent the letter to the White House decrying the separation of the sect's children from their parents as "terrorist acts"

The Yearning for Zion ranch in Eldorado, Texas, was raided last month by authorities acting on tips alleging physical and sexual abuse. The ranch is owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a Mormon offshoot that practices polygamy.

Child welfare officials took more than 460 children and teens into state custody, where they remain.

Members of the sect deny allegations of abuse and say the raid was based on a hoax.

The letter to President Bush is signed by Willie Jessop, an FLDS elder.

"Mr. President, it does not require a foreign country to commit terrorist acts on American soil," the letter says. "Terrorist acts can be committed by federal, local, and private entities that are operating under the guise of 'protecting the public.' "

The letter says the April 3 raid on the compound was an "intrusive invasion" by "a heavily armed militant force."

"We are talking about homes being broken into without search warrants, unarmed fathers being forced to the ground with M16 rifles pointed at their heads, screaming children being torn from the arms of their grief-stricken mothers - all upon American soil and within your own home state of Texas," the letter states.

What do you think of the raid, and of this letter? You can read the entire letter from the FLDS to the President here.


Filed under: FLDS update • Polygamy
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. adela palenzuela

    Somebody needed to rescue those children
    my question is what took it so long?

    May 15, 2008 at 12:18 am |
  2. grandma in Illinois

    Read some of the books on these 'cults'. The belief system they have been taught without exposure to any outside information is mind control. The only way to heaven for women is marriage and child bearing. And men have to have 3 wives.
    Ask them about black people. Ask them how women that cannot have children get to heaven. Ask them if they believe puberty is the age of consent.

    May 14, 2008 at 7:31 pm |
  3. wanda

    It's a very fine line you walk in a situation like this – especially when it comes to separating children from the only environment they've ever known. However, abuse of any kind cannot be tolerated- we have an obligation to those children to protect them. I don't think we have enough facts – such as- did the government ask for cooperation and not get it- why did these people find it necessary to allow the situation to escalate to the point where "invasion" was necessary? Either way, I personally think it was justified if even one child was rescued from an
    abusive situation.

    May 14, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  4. Ann

    I thought polygamy was against the law. If it is, then what's the problem. Shouldn't this cult have been shut down a long time ago and the ones breaking the law arrested? This lifestyle is not fair to the poor children born into it. Argue all they want....but we can just about imagine what goes on in these kind of compounds. Just hard to prove because most have probably had some kind of brainwashing so they will never tell. Like all the ladies dressing alike, their hair, their meak voices, etc....come on. This is not normal.

    May 14, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  5. Gary Chandler in Canada

    I ask again; why does it have come down to age or broken bones?
    Will someone explain how the loss of freedom of movement, freedom to have universal education, and the loss of freedom of religion for the drones born into these camps is not a serious enough abuse issue to send in the authorities?
    I don’t care how many partners that adults in a free society want to have, but to teach polygamy to entrapped young children is child abuse in my opinion.
    Do they study geography? What if they wanted to do a field trip to Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon? It would not be allowed because they might discover there is a world. Regardless of underage sex or broken bones, which are great reasons for intervention, the enforced brain washing should be curtailed by the authorities!
    There should be ‘monitors’ in these camps to check on what teachings they subject their children to. Polygamy should be in the the curriculum at the age of consent and if they choose it, let them.

    May 14, 2008 at 12:36 pm |
  6. Samantha

    Funny, I sort of think of the terrorism here being the rape of young pubescent girls by men who brainwash them to think the glory of God lies in their submissiveness. One would think about the "terror" of a young girl forced to have sex with old men, bear their children and commit a federal crime of sharing that "husband" with a dozen or so other sister-wives.

    Thank God for Texas. Only Texans would go in and get those kids without messing around.

    May 14, 2008 at 11:10 am |
  7. Annie Kate

    Calling the raid to remove endangered children is hardly an act of terrorism. These people knew that what they were doing was against the law – that is evident from the secretiveness and isolationism of the sect at the ranch. If Child Protective Services had left the children with their parents and gone back day after day to determine who was being abused and who was not, the underage girls with husbands and children would probably have been moved to a "house of hiding". The logistics of unraveling who was who when the children were taught not to say who their parents were would have been a nightmare; CPS had to err on the side of caution when it comes to protecting children.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    May 14, 2008 at 10:47 am |
  8. Cindy

    I think that they are whining for nothing. They shouldn't be abusing their kids and they would not have had to have them taken away. The state did the right thing regardless if the phone call was a hoax or not.

    May 14, 2008 at 10:38 am |
  9. Kim in NY

    Scary, Scary, Scary ....... How a whole community can be tormented over a prank call. There are good and bad in all. Press charges against those who need it and leave the rest of these poor people alone. (I personally do not agree with the life style, but I don't see the government ripping the children out of the arms of family members of Jamie Lynn Spears, or Miley Cirus. Weren't these girls "abused and taken advantage of?") Let us not pretend for one minute that these are the only young girls in this country being abused.

    May 14, 2008 at 9:33 am |