August 22nd, 2008
09:30 AM ET

New polygamist indictments, more martyrdom

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/21/jeffsjeffs.jpg caption="Warren Jeffs" width=292 height=320]

Gary Tuchman
AC360° Correspondent

Warren Jeff's fundamentalist polygamist sect has never been so vulnerable.

A grand jury in Texas has indicted three FLDS members on charges related to accusations of sexual abuse of children through marriage of underage girls to older men.

This follows the indictment of five others last month, including Warren Jeffs himself on new charges, Jeffs is already in prison after being convicted as an accomplice to rape for arranging an underage marriage.

There is no reason to doubt that more members of this church are being investigated.

One might think all this is giving some  members second thoughts. But in this church, where the hierarchy is as rigid and strict as old Stalinist regimes, no member in good standing would ever tell an outsider that.

On the contrary, one member I called tells me this "strengthens his faith." It's an attack against their religion, he says.

Justice may be getting served. But it's also increasing a martyr complex among members of this church. And you have to wonder what effect that might have on the men, women and children of this church.

Filed under: FLDS update • Gary Tuchman • Polygamy
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Jocelyn

    Hey Gary,

    Just so you know, I for one, am impressed by your reporting. You are a decent hardworking "regular" type who just absolutely does not get enough credit. Thanks for doing what you do..and just keep at it..

    They had you in the middle of a tropical storm this week..and you still have managed to find the time to keep these women and their children from fading into obscurity.


    and do try to post more details as you have them.

    August 23, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  2. Missy

    @Cindy – I have to say that your vast and vocal knowledge on every single subject ever posted on this blog is stunning, simply stunning. I bet your ?? and !! get the most workout of any keys on your keyboard, LOL!!

    August 22, 2008 at 9:16 pm |
  3. Genevieve M, TX

    I love that picture! It is gratifying knowing that at least one pedophile is off the street. It is also amusing to see how the chain and handcuffs have managed to wipe off any trace of that stupid smirk (he used to have) off his face.

    August 22, 2008 at 6:55 pm |
  4. Betty Ann , Nacogdoches,TX

    He is a pedifile. Off with his head. . . or something.

    August 22, 2008 at 6:45 pm |
  5. Wendy

    It is about time to get these child abusers.
    I am more than angry that anyone thinks God only speaks to one person. God uses the vessel of all His people! I know God has whispered to my heart and I was able to do His will. Shame on anyone who TRIES to tell God anything different. FLDS members are not being taught God's will or love. Just think of the vessels who have missed His voice on their hearts.

    August 22, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  6. deborah, OH

    Gary, thanks for your post. When do you find the time, especially THIS week??
    This whole situation has just closed itself off from the world again. And that's sad for the children, I think. Who knows what kind of 'mind control' they are going through now.
    "strenghthens his faith' is a worrisome thought.
    Who knows what they will do, & will we care??...

    August 22, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  7. Jane

    Do you really think any of these so called fathers support thier children? They are more interested in finding them (girls) thier next homes. Seeing who is highest up in the clan and marrying them off.

    August 22, 2008 at 1:18 pm |
  8. Sandra

    My concern over the 'martyr' complex is that martyrs tend to spawn 'causes'. I've seen the paranoia that develops when the us vs them card is played too often. The fist grabs tighter and tighter to what it still controls to protect it from whoever the current 'them' is. The adults become more and more secretive and the children less and less connected to not only american society (wether thats 'the real world' may be debatable) but all society even that of their own closed world. It worries me. Jonestown maybe a distant memory. But the signs are not so different.

    August 22, 2008 at 12:24 pm |
  9. Cindy

    Man...they are really working you this week aren't they!? They have you out in Florida getting water logged by Fay and now have you doing this story. I hope you are getting some rest!

    I am glad that they are finally doing something to these FLDS members. They should have looked at them, arrested and tried them long ago. Hopefully they all will get convicted and do jail time right along with their saviour Jeffs!


    August 22, 2008 at 9:50 am |
  10. Annie Kate

    I realize that legally the state needs to go after the men having relations with underage girls but I hope before they put most of the FLDS men in jail the government will have some plan for how the women and children the men will leave behind will survive. And that plan shouldn't be just to put them all on welfare and leave them there....

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    August 22, 2008 at 9:43 am |