April 14th, 2009
03:41 PM ET

Lawmakers tackle FLDS raid

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Jenny Hoff

Just over a year after the government raid on the FLDS ranch in West Texas, lawmakers in Austin look at what went wrong. Members from the FLDS sect and representatives with CPS are among the invited testimony on the state's actions.

"Are there things we would have done differently today? Of course," said CPS commissioner Anne Heilingenstein. "I wish we would have had the information we have today." Heilingenstein told the Human Services committee that CPS faced a dilemma on the YFZ ranch that they had never faced before. "If we could have only removed the children facing the worst abuse, we would have," she said. "But, we were facing organized deception."

However, Heilingenstein said if the situation were to happen again, she would still have the agency remove all the children. The only difference she would make is prohibit any mothers from accompanying the children into state custody. However, she said after parenting classes and counseling sessions with the families, she believes the children are now safe with their parents. "The FLDS have acknowledged our concerns and the children are now safe in their homes." Heilingenstein said CPS has instructed the children on what is abuse and the FLDS children know they can call for help.


Filed under: FLDS court hearing • FLDS update
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Isabel Siaba


    How does happen the reconnection?

    April 14, 2009 at 7:36 pm |
  2. Isabel Siaba

    The word religion derives from religere, which means reconnect. To reconnect man to God.

    And as it happen this reconnection?
    Through the knowledge of itself, of the reform intimate practiced, independent of dogma, external expressions, creed and/or faith.

    The objective here is to be a better man. Best towards ethical and moral.

    Religion must conduct the people and not force, compel, or impose.

    April 14, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  3. Richard Az

    Live near this religon? I do, they devalue women in suttle ways as haveing a "roll". Also once in the majority in a town, demand other reglions remove the cross from there church's and impose there will .

    The cross is about Jesus? so what is the LDS about?

    I do know this is a cult , many good people from the LDS lot of good things about them, pleasing to the eye.. Many deceived people.

    The Government did the right thing in my opinon.

    April 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  4. Joanne Pacicca, Solvay, NY

    Cults like this one, and the call that brought attention to the issue were certainly a "crisis." And, yet, these illegal and elicit religeous groups hide behind a perverse loophole in the law.

    From birth, these young women are brainwashed into an unsavory lifestyle.

    Yes, perhaps the events could have been handled differently. However, it is obvious that the "knee-jerk" reaction of Government officials was performed in the spirit of protecting the innocent victims.

    April 14, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  5. Annie Kate

    Given that polygamy is part of their religion and the teachings of that religion that a young girl's best outcome is to marry and have children I don't think the new laws will do much to alter the behavior of the FLDS, even the children. The youngest children will still be too intimidated by their teachings and by the complacency of the other FLDS members who accept this as the only lifestyle possible for them. Add that to the natural hesitance a child feels in reporting a parent and the only thing you can reasonably expect is that the children will continue to behave as they have always behaved. The will follow the FLDS tenets rather than the teachings given by the outside world. As long as we allow a group to continue to break the law by practicing polygamy these children will never truly be safe.

    April 14, 2009 at 3:55 pm |