Family Issues

The Investigation Continues, but Here Are a Few Reckless Allegations

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Yesterday, attempting to retroactively justify the wholesale removal of children from the Yearning for Zion (YFZ) Ranch, Carey Cockerell, commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, insinuated that children at the ranch, which is owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), had been beaten severely enough to break their bones. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Cockerell told a state legislative committee "at least 41 children from the polygamous YFZ Ranch have had broken bones," which he said was "cause for concern." Yet USA Today reports that the medical textbook Fractures in Children "cites data that suggest 42% of boys and 27% of girls suffer at least one fracture before age 16." According to the latest official count, the state of Texas has taken custody of 464 minors who lived at YFZ, ranging in age from less than 1 to 17. If 41 of them have had broken bones, that's less than 10 percent over all, which, pace Cockerell, does not seem to be "cause for concern."

FLDS attorney Rod Parker notes that some of the children at YFZ suffer from brittle bone disease:

That makes some of the children more susceptible to broken bones. The mothers told CPS about that when they were taken in. They've known all along that the reason they might see higher incidence of broken bones was due to this condition. They have no evidence to support the implication it is due to child abuse.

Lloyd Barlow, a physician who lives at YFZ, said he'd seen no signs of abuse: 

"Probably over 90 percent of the injuries are forearm fractures from ground-level or low level falls," Barlow told The Associated Press from his office at the Eldorado ranch. "I can also tell you that we don't live in a community where there is a pattern of abuse."

Barlow said he is an FLDS member but also a licensed physician in Texas and Utah and is required by law to report suspected abuse.

"What they are saying is that in the history of the lives of 400 some-odd children, there have been injuries. They are not saying they have 41 [current] fractures," he said.

Cockerell's department later backed away from his insinuation that the fractures were evidence of beatings:

Patrick Crimmins, a spokesman for the Child Protective Services division, said the state was still investigating and Cockerell's comments were not meant to be an allegation of abuse.

"This is pretty early in this investigation, particularly given the number of children we've been interviewing," he said. "We are just looking into it."

This is pretty sleazy: There seem to be a lot of broken bones (though not any more than you'd expect in a random sample of American kids), and we're concerned about that, but we're not saying the kids were abused. We're just strongly implying it.

Cockerell also said "interviews with children and journals found at the ranch" have led investigators to believe some of the boys may have been sexually abused. Anyone who is familar with episodes like the trumped-up McMartin Preschool prosecutions understands how easy it is for social workers, through leading questions and repeated allegations, to elicit testimony from little kids that supports their preconceptions. As for the journals, since Cockerell says only that abuse may have occurred, I assume the written evidence is ambiguous as well.

Although it may turn out that some of the children at YFZ were abused physically and/or sexually, I don't trust Cockerell's investigators to find the truth, because I don't think they see that as their mission. Instead they are intent on showing, in the face of widespread criticism, that the state was right to separate all the children from their parents, even though there was no evidence of abuse in the vast majority of cases. The thing is, they will never be able to show the state was right, no matter what they find. At the time they forcibly removed these children, state officials conceded they had no reason to believe anyone was being beaten or that sexual abuse extended beyond the underage marriage of teenaged girls (the extent of which is disputed by FLDS members). As I noted in my column yesterday, in more than nine out of 10 cases their argument for separation hinged on the idea that bringing children up according to FLDS teachings was inherently abusive. If they subsequently find evidence of physical or sexual abuse, that does not make their rationale for removal any more legitimate.

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  1. There seems to be a lot of CYA at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

    I expect to see a lot more going on the future.

  2. So, you positively quote the on-site, member-of-the-club physician?

    Nope…no bias there.

    Barlow said he is an FLDS member but also a licensed physician in Texas and Utah and is required by law to report suspected abuse.

    Oh, well, the law…that oughta cover it.

    Not saying FPS is in the right here, but countering the abuse allegation with an FLDS doctor who lived there is LAAAAME.

  3. tell grandma you fell off the swing.

    hell…hell is for children!

  4. Jacob, check out the histories of other similar communities where the authorities have intervened. You’ll find girls groomed from an early age to be polygamous wives for the older men in the compound with the boys shunted off so they won’t compete. And this IS inherently abusive. It annoys me continually that libertarians are so dismissive of concerns for children (they are sooo ideologically inconvenient) while most could never be bothered having children of their own to look after.

  5. Ayn_Randian, if that was the only potential source, I think you would have a point. But, this is one source that can speak with first hand knowledge and professional experience. Would you prefer a quote from public officials, a state employee, or other person “speaking anonymously because he is not allowed to discuss the matter”.

    Besides, how do you know he was a FLDS memeber? That was rhetorical – obviously you know because it was fully disclosed.

    If you witness a police beating, and the vicitim is your friend, you should shut up because you have no credibility?

  6. The geneticist reviewing the DNA evidence has his work cut out for him. Do you know how difficult it is to analyze DNA from people who avoided outsiders for so long? Plan old endogamy (like the Brittish royals and the Rooservelts practiced) can make the DNA much less varried than in your typical community.

  7. libertarians are so dismissive of concerns for children

    Indeed, the general philosophy here seems to imply that children are not humans with rights but rather the property of adults. The overwhelming concern voiced here is that the rights of the adults have been violated. Screw the children. Pun intended.

  8. It annoys me continually that libertarians are so dismissive of concerns for children (they are sooo ideologically inconvenient)…

    Agreed, it is the hardest segment of social life for Libertarianism to effectively address, and is often swept under the carpet because of this.

    …while most could never be bothered having children of their own to look after.

    WTF?

  9. classwarrior | May 1, 2008, 11:55am | #

    Jacob, check out the histories of other similar communities where the authorities have intervened. You’ll find girls groomed from an early age to be polygamous wives for the older men in the compound with the boys shunted off so they won’t compete. And this IS inherently abusive. It annoys me continually that libertarians are so dismissive of concerns for children (they are sooo ideologically inconvenient) while most could never be bothered having children of their own to look after.

    Try this edit:

    Jacob, check out the histories of other similar mainstream communities where the authorities have not intervened. You’ll find girls groomed from an early age to be polygamous wives for the older men in the compound with the boys shunted off so they won’t compete use birth control so the fruits of their labor go to nonrelatives instead of offspring. And this IS inherently abusive. It annoys me continually that libertarians are so dismissive of concerns for children (they are sooo ideologically inconvenient) while most could never be bothered having children of their own to look after.

    Look classwarrior, if there was sleep deprivation, 10 hour long lectures, or other brain washing techniques I would object to those techniques. I just don’t see the legal difference between suggesting someone get married at age 18 and delay college verse suggesting someone go to college at age 18 and delay marriage.

  10. Jacob, check out the histories of other similar communities where the authorities have intervened. You’ll find girls groomed from an early age to be polygamous wives for the older men in the compound with the boys shunted off so they won’t compete. And this IS inherently abusive.

    Actually, of all the allegations against the cult, there is only one that I find to be “inherently abusive” – sexual contact with girls below the age of consent.

    If a cult had a compound somewhere, and they taught their children that the girls should enter polyamorous relationships with older men upon reaching the age of consent, I would not regard that as abusive in the slightest.

    I am one of the loudest anti-religion voices in the interminable faith vs. reason threads, but to me it is absolutely plain that religious freedom allows people to teach their children stupid things. “Wahhhh, it’s coercive!” just doesn’t cut it with me. If someone preaches a religious doctrine at you over and over and you accept it and agree with it, that’s persuasion, not coercion.

    Since the only element in the FLDS’ conduct that I acknowledge is abusive is contact with underage girls, only those men it can be proved engaged in such conduct should be arrested. Only girls who are currently underage and being molested should be removed. If there are of-age women there in polyamorous relationships who aren’t complaining about them, there is no excuse for seizing their children. Sorry.

    If there are women there who were involved in sexual relationships when they were underage who now have children, their children should not be taken away unless they are in imminent danger of molestation themselves. Unless we’re going to take away the children of all women who engaged in sex before the age of consent and are unrepentant about it.

    And yes, I have a child, and you know what? Whatever stupid shit I want to teach him I get to teach him, and you don’t get to say fucking shit about it.

  11. Funny title that. I was thinking pretty much those very words when I saw on the news yesterday, allegations that they were sexually abusing boys.

    Not that they were or weren’t. I don’t know either way.

    It just seemed like maybe something the authorities came up with because they thought maybe the public was sympathetic to sex with 16 year old girls or something.

  12. It annoys me continually that libertarians are so dismissive of concerns for children (they are sooo ideologically inconvenient)

    BTW, they aren’t really that inconvenient at all.

    If we declare them incompetent to enter into economic contracts, that pretty neatly takes care of the child labor thing.

    And there is virtually no “but the childrenz!” complaint outside of child labor that means a damn thing to me, so I don’t lose any sleep over them ideologically at all.

    99% of “but the childrenz!” type complaining revolves around the fact that it’s marginally harder to train children to accept the social mores of the dominant culture if they’re allowed to witness examples from outside that dominant culture. “How on Earth will children learn to accept our Christian ideas about sex if they can see tits on TV?” Since I don’t really give a damn if you can successfully train your kids in the social mores of the dominant culture, these complaints mean nothing to me.

    Honestly, in some ways these FLDS people – who took upon themselves the burden of withdrawing from the marketplace of ideas in order to teach their children the way they preferred – are preferable to me to the donkeys who demand that I alter my behavior so their youngins will never hear the word “fuck”.

  13. Indeed, the general philosophy here seems to imply that children are not humans with rights but rather the property of adults.

    Not at all. My position (and I think its fairly typical) is that children are not competent to arrange their own affairs, and are therefor subject to guardianship by their parents.

    The state can step in and void that guardianship, but only in extraordinary circumstances. The argument here is about what counts as sufficiently extraordinary circumstances, and whether those circumstances obtained at the FLDS ranch.

  14. The distinction is teaching versus acting. IF they want to arrest people for having sex with 13 year olds under the guise of marriage or for having multiple wives and they have evidence, that is fine. But they don’t seem to be doing that here. They seem to be claiming that merely teaching your children that polygamy is okay constitutes abuse. I loath polygamists probably more than anyone, but thoughts and statements, no matter how vile, are not and should not be crimes. If they can take your kids away for teaching polygamy is okay, why can’t they take them away for teaching them that global warming is horseshit or any other politically incorrect views?

  15. It is beginning to look like the state of Texas is guilty of egregious overreaction and wholesale violations of peoples rights. That said –

    Lloyd Barlow, a physician who lives at YFZ, said he’d seen no signs of abuse:

    “Probably over 90 percent of the injuries are forearm fractures from ground-level or low level falls,” Barlow told The Associated Press from his office at the Eldorado ranch. “I can also tell you that we don’t live in a community where there is a pattern of abuse.”

    Barlow said he is an FLDS member but also a licensed physician in Texas and Utah and is required by law to report suspected abuse.

    I’m suddenly curious about Lloyd Barlow’s marital status. Does he have a wife? Could he possibly have two wives, which is illegal in Texas, just like not reporting suspected child abuse, or more given his status as the resident physician?

    Since I view all religions as delusional but respect people’s freedom to choose their faith, including raising children in their chosen faith, brainwashing claims are a red herring. There exists in America a number of subcultures that believe in and practice arranged marriages. They bring up the children IAW those beliefs without state intervention. Texas needs to identify children who have been married off prior to the legal age of wedlock, or have been victims of forced or statuatory rape. Thus far they haven’t.

    As you can probably tell I don’t find a whole lot of saints in this maelstrom, rather I see sinners everywhere. Just because I disagree with a whackjob religion and lifestyle, doesn’t necessarily lead to support for proscribing it by statute.

  16. libertarians are so dismissive of concerns for children (they are sooo ideologically inconvenient) while most could never be bothered having children of their own to look after

    See that? That right there is what puts you in the Cock-knocker column.

  17. I find it hard to believe that there are still some people trying to justify the FLDS way of life. It would be more at home in Afganistan than here (so perhaps they should move). The fact is that, regardless of physical/sexual abuse or broken bones, this cult is violating the civil rights of the women and children. They are not being accorded the very freedoms that we take for granted, such as freedom to go where they please and do as they please. Only FLDS (or extremely strict fundementalist muslims) would feel that the confinement of women and children (via 10 ft walls and a watchtower) was acceptble. These women and children have no rights and are not allowed the basic freedoms that we are fighting for all over the worlds. The ironic part is that the men do this so they will accend to heaven, but when they get there, they won’t be let in, since they were unkind to weaker people. Now that’s irony, and justice.

  18. Only FLDS (or extremely strict fundementalist muslims) would feel that the confinement of women and children (via 10 ft walls and a watchtower) was acceptble. These women and children have no rights and are not allowed the basic freedoms that we are fighting for all over the worlds.

    Where do you get that they weren’t allowed to leave? Everything reported thus far indicates that the women who were there were there of their own choice. The towers, etc. were to keep the evil world out. You can think it’s nutty, but being nutty and afraid of the world isn’t against the law. With their history of persecution it makes a lot of sense, but since you know nothing about the FLDS I suppose you can simply condemn them out of hand.

    If you want to argue that they were “brainwashed” and therefore not subject to their own will, then you now have a justification for the state to take action against any unpopular group because no one could possibly agree with [pick your belief].

    If you can show that they were confined and not there of their own free will (no arguments about subaltern classes who conspire in their own oppression allowed) then you have a legal basis, but so far the state of Texas has not charged anyone with unlawful confinement, kidnapping, or anything of the sort. And while they have put forth trial balloon after trial balloon of spurious claims, they haven’t floated that one… Probably because the day they do there will be FLDS woman after FLDS woman there to deny the charge. Just because you think it’s a bad life doesn’t mean they agree.

  19. They are not being accorded the very freedoms that we take for granted, such as freedom to go where they please and do as they please.

    This is extremely comical, since the women in this case want to go home to the ranch with their children.

    It is the state of Texas that is denying them the freedom to go where they please and do as they please.

    These are not attractive people to be sticking up for, but I categorically reject the suggestion – from anyone, about anyone – that you can somehow declare that these people are being denied “freedom” because they are choosing to live in a way that is different from you.

    That’s the real bottom line here. Feminists, and their fellow travelling men, have argued for many decades that there are women in the world who don’t actually want the things they say that they want, because they are victims of brainwashing or false consciousness. Anyone who does not choose to live a NOW-approved suburban lifestyle isn’t “free”. And that is absolute and unmitigated bullshit.

    You don’t get to say what these women want. Only they do. And it doesn’t matter if they’ve been “brought up” to think a certain way, because last time I checked, that was true of everyone, and no particular perspective is privileged in any way.

  20. “You don’t get to say what these women want. Only they do. And it doesn’t matter if they’ve been “brought up” to think a certain way, because last time I checked, that was true of everyone, and no particular perspective is privileged in any way.”

    I don’t really care what these women want. If they were practicing polygamy, toss them in the can, end of story. That said, they should not be prosecuted for their beliefs, only their actions. The sad part about the State overreach here is that there was no reason to overreach. These cults all overate with the same MO. You force very young girls into marriage before they are old enough to be able to object, then rape them and get them pregnant so that they have children and are bound to their husbands and it is very difficult for them to leave the compound. At the same time, you kick all of male children out of the compound and on the streets as soon as they hit puberty, lest they get in the way of you marrying all of the 13 and 14 year old girls. It is amazing the banality of the whole thing. The whole culture is set up as an excuse for old men to screw teenage girls with impunity.

    I agree with you fluffy that we can’t be throwing people in jail for a set of beliefs. But, don’t mistake how screwed up this whole thing is and how the children stuck in the cult are victims.

  21. Only FLDS (or extremely strict fundementalist muslims) would feel that the confinement of women and children (via 10 ft walls and a watchtower) was acceptble. These women and children have no rights and are not allowed the basic freedoms that we are fighting for all over the worlds.

    This is the kind of reasoning that, in other countries, has led to the forcible dissolution of monastic communities (with such occasional ironic consequences as the execution of the Carmelite nuns of Compiegne for their refusal to accept the freedom the Revolution was offering them).

  22. When I doinked a 13-year-old girl, she wasn’t one of my relatives and I did not ask taxpayers to support any inbred kids that resulted.

    Some H & R poster had a great line:

    “Liberals = have 1.7 kids

    Conservatives = have 2.3 kids

    Libertarians = whacking it to Hentai in their parents’ basement.”

  23. “I don’t really care what these women want.”
    I think John has just told me all I need to know of his opinion on this topic.

  24. libertarians are so dismissive of concerns for children (they are sooo ideologically inconvenient) while most could never be bothered having children of their own to look after

    Actually, I *do* have children, and it’s for that reason that I am appalled by the actions of the Texas authorities. I categorically reject the notion that the state can care more for my children than I do.

  25. “Liberals = have 1.7 kids

    Conservatives = have 2.3 kids”

    This proves I’m worth 2.35 liberals or 1.74 conservatives.

  26. Any of you try any preversions. I will blow your head off.

  27. libertarians are so dismissive of concerns for children (they are sooo ideologically inconvenient) while most could never be bothered having children of their own to look after

    Uhh, DRINK?

  28. I agree with you fluffy that we can’t be throwing people in jail for a set of beliefs. But, don’t mistake how screwed up this whole thing is and how the children stuck in the cult are victims.

    John, I pretty much agree with that statement. What cult religion were you raised in?

  29. Hey! I thought I wrote something just like this the other day. Both about the number of injuries and McMartin pre-school. Great minds and all that I guess.

    Patrick Crimmins, a spokesman for the Child Protective Services division, said the state was still investigating and Cockerell’s comments were not meant to be an allegation of abuse.

    Must suck to be ed right now. His precious little hypothesis just got cold water thrown on it.

    Ayn_Randian,

    Wow, talk about “denying reality”,

    Not saying FPS is in the right here, but countering the abuse allegation with an FLDS doctor who lived there is LAAAAME.

    Nevermind the other data indicating that the the number of injuries might not be out of line with random group of American kids regardign broken bones. Sheesh.

    The state can step in and void that guardianship, but only in extraordinary circumstances. The argument here is about what counts as sufficiently extraordinary circumstances, and whether those circumstances obtained at the FLDS ranch.

    Shhhhhhh! Don’t tell ed, he is doing it (jettisoning his ability to reason) for the children after all.

    As you can probably tell I don’t find a whole lot of saints in this maelstrom, rather I see sinners everywhere.

    I agree, there may well have been abuse going on there, but the heavy handed tactics seem unwarranted and once the government has power it rarely gives it up.

    The fact is that, regardless of physical/sexual abuse or broken bones, this cult is violating the civil rights of the women and children. They are not being accorded the very freedoms that we take for granted, such as freedom to go where they please and do as they please.

    Okay, that was stupid. Children don’t have the same civil rights as an adult. If I tell my son, “Go to your room.” I’m not guilty of wrongfully imprisoning himm. If I take away a toy, I bought, as a punishment for doing something that he shoudn’t have, I’m not depriving him of property without due process. The above statement applied to children is just plain vanilla stupid.

  30. It’s all about me.

  31. No ed, but I do wish you’d get your head out of your butt. I usually like reading your comments, but lately you’ve been…well…not yourself.

  32. Strange the assumption is that you’re libertarian only until you have kids and then you suddenly realize the wisdom in letting the state infantalize you and make you its ward. Having kids and being worried about the future I will bequeath them has made me far more Libertarian than I ever was before. As a father of four the actions of the State and the realization that I might be subject to some crusading do-gooder’s vision of how I should be raising my children scare the crap out of me, not because I do anything to my children but because I realize that no matter how good I am as a father, some wanker in the government can just decide to take them away from me, with or without reason.

  33. Oddly, despite weeks of unlimited access to the ranch, all its records, and every person who lived there, the state has not brought any charges against anyone for:

    (a) polygamy
    (b) child abuse
    (c) child neglect
    (d) statutory rape.

    Yet the assumption that these things occurred underlies their extraordinary actions. Either they have evidence to support this, or they don’t. If they don’t then everyone goes home (with the possible exception of the teenage girls). If they do, then file charges and lets get it on.

    Its rapidly getting to be time to put up or shut up, State of Texas.

  34. Its rapidly getting to be time to put up or shut up, State of Texas.

    QFT! IMHO polgamy should not be illegal. Consenting adults and all of that. Age of consent laws I grudgingly support. The ball has been in Texas’s court for enough time.

  35. J Sub D,

    If you honestly think that being raised in any mainline religion is like growing up in one of these compounds, you are either woefully ignorant or an idiot.

  36. Anyone wondering about the state’s honesty in this affair ought to look at the sales of Jessop’s book about the FLDS, which spiked one week before the first phone call was supposedly made by Rozita Swinton, and didn’t rise again until after the raid. Who was buying these books and why the sudden interest? Had Swinton already called Texas law enforcement a week before March 29, only to be directed to an inside line without caller ID or recording capability? Is this the information that the Texas Rangers are sitting on by sending the evidence collected in Swinton’s apartment out to various labs for “analysis”–that they knew she was a fraud and pretended they didn’t so they could get a search warrant, in the meantime buying Jessop’s book to get insight into the FLDS for the raid?

    Here is the sales chart of Jessop’s book at Amazon: http://charteo.us/amzn/items/0767927567

    Sales show a spike on March 21, more than a week before the raid, then drops off slowly, before spiking again shortly after the raid. (Note: the way Amazon calculates sales rank, the drop-off is always gradual, even with no sales.)

  37. If you honestly think that being raised in any mainline religion is like growing up in one of these compounds, you are either woefully ignorant or an idiot.

    I think J sub D thinks that they’re all nuts, just a question of degree, so it’s the pot calling the kettle black…

  38. If you honestly think that being raised in any mainline religion is like growing up in one of these compounds, you are either woefully ignorant or an idiot.

    Col. Bat Guano –
    If you honestly think that you can define the difference between a “cult” and a “mainline religion” you are invited to give it a shot right here on the pages of H&R.

  39. J sub D,

    Oooh, ooh, can I play?

    cult = collection of religious whackjobs I disagree with or find distasteful
    mainline religion = collection of religious whackjobs that don’t offend my sensibilities

    Do I win a prize?

    Oh, and Fluffy, you are spot on.

  40. libertarians are so dismissive of concerns for children (they are sooo ideologically inconvenient) while most could never be bothered having children of their own to look after

    Yeah, tell that to my three children, including my 13-year-old daughter who I loaned my copy of David Friedman’s “The Machinery of Freedom” last night after she said, “I wish there was a book that explained libertarian principles.”

    We’re not all pro-choice libertine cosmos who don’t want the responsibility of children — NTTAWWT.

  41. You don’t get to say what these women want. Only they do. And it doesn’t matter if they’ve been “brought up” to think a certain way,

    And being brought up a certain way certainly preordains you to live that way, yeah? You might want to chat with my mother about how the indoctrination of her children with conservative Republican political views resulted in the uniformity of children who are: a socialist, a liberal Democrat, a left-libertarian, a right-libertarian, and a centrist law-and-order Republican.

    Or how her indoctrination of fundy Christian Mormon- and Catholic-hating doctrine led to a son who married a Catholic and became a lapsed Mormon, and recently attended said mother’s wedding to a Catholic.

    Yep, nobody ever changes their minds due to experience.

  42. You know the FLDS folks seem to me to be better neighbors than the fundamentalist christian and muslims.

    Yeah, their beliefs are just as batshit crazy but at least they aren’t determined to inflict them on the whole world by force.

    They did what a parent should do in the sense of them personally taking responsibility for what their children see and hear and learn growing up instead of trying to make the whole world G-rated by force so they don’t have to worry about it.

    If there’s statutory rape going on then charges need to be brought and proved in court.

  43. Standard FLDS ickyness disclosure…..

    Does anyone else notice the strange similarity this episode seems to have with the Duke Rape Case. IOW the initial reporting done thru leaks and news conferences, to the media, primarily by the prosecution. Only two years afterwards do the objective facts come out (largely initiated by bloggers – see “durham in wonderland”). I can easily see this playing out the same way – expect the MSM to be behind the curve …. especially Nancy Grace.

  44. Well, now that you mention it…

    “””If there’s statutory rape going on then charges need to be brought and proved in court.”””

    The fish hook is in the water, just give them time to catch something. They need more time and more investigation before they can determine what to investigate! 😉

    “”” As I noted in my column yesterday, in more than nine out of 10 cases their argument for separation hinged on the idea that bringing children up according to FLDS teachings was inherently abusive. “”””

    Yeah, and the why they think it’s abusive should sound alarms for all religions.

  45. Indeed, what’s to stop them from going after catholics for cannibalism? You know, miracle of trans-substantiation and all that.

  46. The fish hook is in the water, just give them time to catch something. They need more time and more investigation before they can determine what to investigate! 😉

    The call for experienced facilitated communication practitioners has already gone out.

    I think I’m kidding.

  47. Yeah, and the why they think it’s abusive should sound alarms for all religions.

    Mainline religions don’t need to worry, only cults do. Col. Bat Guano will be defining the differences for us shortly. He’s neither woefully ignorant nor an idiot, so it’ll be child’s play.

  48. Which is more abusive, religious whackjobs raising their kids in this non-mainstream way or forceably separating kids from their families and putting them in group foster homes?

    I guess if it is a cult it’s ok to pull the kids out. Is worship of the state a cult or a religion?

  49. I loath polygamists probably more than anyone

    Why?

  50. burn them, they look like witches.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrzMhU_4m-g

  51. We do raise children.
    My 4 year old just kept asking why when I told him I had to write a check for ten thousand dollars(200 Geo Trax Grand Central Station sets) to the government…when I finally explained that the group of thieves wanted our money so they could give out contracts to friends and payoff various groups supporting their mob he said…”so now we don’t have as much money to spend” …I said yep your learning.

  52. Does inbreeding constitute child-abuse?

    That was my first snarky thought when I read that many of them had some sort of brittle-bone disorder (assuming it’s heritable), but it doesn’t sound so goofy the more I think about it. It kind of reminds me of those little old ladies with 800 cats: they think they’re rescueing all those poor little kitties but they’re really doing more harm than good.

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