Religion

Live from the YFZ Ranch: Fashion Week

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The moms of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints started an online clothing store to provide their confiscated children with acceptable clothes. Now that they have been reunited with their kids, they're considering turning the website into a money-making venture:

"We don't know what to expect on demand but we have had a flood of interest," said Maggie Jessop, a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. "Our motive is not to flaunt ourselves or our religion before the world. We have to make a living the same as everyone does."

The sect is offering dresses, overalls, shirts, pants, nightgowns, sleepers, onesies for babies and, yes, ankle-to-wrist underwear. There are denim jeans for boys and "teen princess" dresses in plain, jacket and vest styles in pastel shades of pink, peach, yellow, green, aqua, blue, lavender and lilac.

The FLDS has gotten a rough rap during the last few months, and I'm on the fence about how much of it was deserved, but the group's openness to economic adaptation is refreshing:

"They accuse us of [relying] on welfare, but that's untrue," [Jessop] said. "We like to be busy and learn to meet our needs—out of ashes growing lilies."

Editor Jacob Sullum wrote here about Texas' abuse of children in pursuit of protecting them from the very same.

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  1. Capitalism for the Masses! I like it.

  2. Well at least they won’t be selling baggy, sagging pants. In my city, the youths have revived the old 1990’s saggy pants, but with a new twist. The sag ’em in the front now too. Just today I saw a youth sagging in front. His limp cock flopped around in his boxers like a fish out of water. I say, if these youths really had any balls , they’d sag their pants (both front and back) sans boxers.

    What a bunch of clowns.

  3. His limp cock flopped around in his boxers like a fish out of water.

    I laughed so hard at this sentence that I damn near had a psychotic break.

  4. When it comes to Jesus friendly clothing, it’s hard to top the Danz Family

  5. ACK!
    I didn’t ever RTFA on my own link
    It should have been wholesome wear

  6. That woman in the slimming swimwear looks like John Travolta.

  7. I couldn’t find their Easy Access line.

  8. I’m guessing they’ll see a spike in orders around Halloween.

  9. Over/under on what percentage of their sales will be ironic?

  10. The baby overalls are cute. The boy’s shirts aren’t bad, either.

  11. Is that the magic underwear??? I thought outsiders were forbidden from seeing it.

  12. I think this is great. I’m not a potential customer, but I bet there are plenty out there. The FLDS took the lemons the state of Texas gave them and are making lemonade.

  13. I checked out the website…why do all the kids have so much product in their hair?

    It strikes me that FLDS boys are all “Dapper Dan” men.

  14. I wish the FLDS the best of luck with their enterprise. The last report I heard said that all the press coverage made many Americans interested in prairie style clothes. A slow economy also tends to bring on modest styles. They might end up developing a thriving garment business.

  15. The idea that they are working and on welfare is not contradictory. The FLDS church set up numerous little games to sap money out of the government. And each additional wife is considered a “single mother” often with “dependent children” who qualifies for state payments. Then the church runs its own towns and gets federal and state funds for their schools, road, police, etc. They qualify for a lots because the “poverty rate” is considered very high — all those single moms.

    Who owns this clothing factory? Would it be surprising if the church did and the women “contributed” their time to the church enterprise? They wouldn’t get paid, could still collect welfare and still be working. The church can then “give charity” which is tax free. This also cements the control of the prophet and the elders who run everything. But the idea that they keep busy working in a non-paying job would not necessarily exclude them from welfare. And those communities take in the tens of millions in various government payments every year.

  16. Is that the magic underwear??? I thought outsiders were forbidden from seeing it.

    Non-members are forbidden from * buying * it. Seeing it, if you’re married to a non-member, is OK, though when I was an active member of the Church my wife used to insist, rather emphatically, that it all come off if I wanted sex. And regular LDS often have bits of the garment peeking out from clothing, often as a subtle signaling device, or if you’re kinda risque by LDS standards, lots of it peeking out from clothes that, in the absence of the undergarment, would be immodest.

  17. Still no charges of child abuse or statutory rape have been filed by the authorities in Texas.

    I think FLDS is a whackjob cult.
    I think that about a lot of churches.
    Texas had enough evidence(?) to rain the town and breakup the famalies, yet can’t get a indictment?

  18. what I admire about reason the most is it’s ability to have enough righteous outrage at the State of Texas while simultaneously mocking these creepy quasi-pedos and Svengali-like child abusers.

    “authoritarianism, whether wearing a Che beret or a bishop’s mitre, leaves us as cold as Lenin’s corpse” – Nick Gillespie

    keep rockin’ on, kiddos.

  19. Eh, Ayn_Randian, the reason Reason is outraged on their behalf is because these people are innocent of all charges against them? Except for polygamy, which is the excuse Texas used for raiding them.

  20. I’m curious about the extent to which this particular sect relied on welfare to support their lifestyle, and so far I’ve seen nothing specific. They get the accusation because other, very similar, groups have used welfare to support their lifestyle. I have no problem with the nutty lifestyle if consenting adults want to live it on their own, but I have severe problems financing it on April 15th. If they want to claim something like “nobody at that ranch was on welfare at the time of the raid” I’ll be happy to listen, but so far that claim hasn’t been made AFAIK.
    JMR

  21. righteous outrage at the State of Texas
    while simultaneously mocking these creepy quasi-pedos

    I believe it’s called, “Having your cake and eating it, too.”

  22. That woman in the slimming swimwear looks like John Travolta.

    Yeah. “Looks like.”

  23. They get the accusation because other, very similar, groups have used welfare to support their lifestyle.

    No, they get the accusation because other members of their group living on other settlements do it too, and because their Prophets have been recorded advocating the practice. There’s no evidence whatsoever that they don’t practice it themselves, and plenty that’s circumstantial to assume that they do.

  24. Are you sure the groups in other states qualify as “their group”? If so, you’re right, and if not, you’re wrong. I know there are welfare recipient privacy issues intertwined in this whole thing, but it would be nice to know for sure, in a general way, something like the number of them or percentage of them on welfare. So far, the media has given us nothing specific.
    JMR

  25. Don’t know if it’s been said yet but those are some pricey children’s clothes.

  26. “Texas had enough evidence(?) to rain the town and breakup the famalies, yet can’t get a indictment?”

    Give Texas a break. If the FLDS members were black, they’d all be on death row by now.

  27. “I checked out the website…why do all the kids have so much product in their hair? ”

    That’s not product, if you know what I mean.

  28. Is that the magic underwear??? I thought outsiders were forbidden from seeing it.

    Warren, it is not the style that makes the underwear magic, it’s the symbols embroidered on it. Though I don’t know that the fundies use those.

    Years ago the son of a temple president told me that a lot of his father’s staff’s time was spent checking people coming to the temple against the list of fundamentalists and other excommunicants that was sent out every month. It’s apparently a long list, though I don’t know how many are fundies and how many are adulterers or just people who wanted out.

    Apparently even though they reject the establishment church as corrupt and apostate many of the fundie groups still try to get in for temple endowments.

  29. Oh, and as prolefeed notes above, allowing temple garments to show (as in the outline through a white shirt) for example is used as code to identify fellow saints by those who feel they need to.

    However, I believe one is not supposed to let gentiles see the magic symbols although it does happen in places like public change rooms at swimming pools etc.

  30. Are you sure the groups in other states qualify as “their group”? If so, you’re right, and if not, you’re wrong.

    They have the same prophet, so yes, they’re members of the same group. They were also hiding Warren Jeffs for a period of time while he was on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list.

    Wish I could give you better than Wikipedia, but that’s what there is

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YFZ_Ranch

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