Skip to comments.Sect boys may have been abused by older boys
Posted on 05/01/2008 10:47:42 AM PDT by Politicalmom
State authorities are investigating whether younger boys taken from a polygamist ranch in West Texas were sexually abused by older boys, not adults, a state official said today.
Documents taken from the Yearning for Zion Ranch near Eldorado indicate that younger boys were molested by older boys at the ranch, the official, who asked not to be identified, told the Houston Chronicle.
No other details about the abuse were available.
On Wednesday, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Carey Cockerell revealed to a Senate panel that at least 41 of the 464 children in state custody had previously broken or fractured bones.
``Several of these fractures have been found in very young children and several had multiple fractures,'' he said.
Most of the information about the fractures was reported to DFPS' Texas Child Protective Services by the children or their mothers. Few X-rays have been done on the children, agency officials said.
But Cockerell also told the Senate Health and Human Services Committee that the agency is looking into the possible sexual abuse of some boys, based on interviews and journal entries.
In addition, he informed the panel of several hurdles CPS workers faced in trying to identify the children and determine their health status.
He said both women and children removed plastic identity bracelets issued to them or rubbed the wording off of them. CPS had tried to use the bracelets to help workers keep track of children.
Also, FLDS women initially refused to let the children undergo basic health screenings and many of the teen girls refused to take pregnancy tests. The women and older children often monitored younger children, telling them not to speak to CPS workers or coaching them on what to say, Cockerell said.
For the past month, child welfare investigators had focused nearly all of their attention on the alleged sexual abuse of young girls who once resided with their parents at the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' ranch.
Until now, officials have alluded only occasionally to suspected physical abuse. The breakaway Mormon sect practices polygamy and its spiritual leader, Warren Jeffs, is serving a prison sentence after being convicted of being an accomplice to rape of an underage girl.
No other details were available about the possible abuse of the boys or how many of the fractures, which affect less than 10 percent of the total child population from the sect, can be attributed to their life on a big ranch with a large amount of construction and farm equipment.
FLDS spokesman Rod Parker called Cockerell's testimony "a deliberate effort to mislead the public."
Parker said any broken bones would have been treated in medical facilities away from the ranch and that doctors are required to report suspected abuse.
It was not clear how many of the children might have been injured while playing or working on the 1,700-acre ranch they once called home.
Lloyd Barlow, the ranch's onsite physician, said he was caring for a number of FLDS children with broken or fractured bones at the time they were removed from the ranch.
"Probably over 90 percent of the injuries are forearm fractures from ground-level or low level falls," Barlow told the Associated Press. "I can also tell you that we don't live in a community where there is a pattern of abuse."
Dr. Emalee Flaherty, a pediatrician in Chicago who specializes in child abuse, cautioned against jumping to conclusions that the children's broken bones were caused by abuse.
There might be many variables, she said, such as a high incidence of bone disease or a special diet that causes a vitamin deficiency that predisposes the group's children to brittle bones.
"This is a pretty closed community," Flaherty said, adding that life on a ranch might also expose children to injuries.
Dr. Bruce Perry, a Houston child psychiatrist and child abuse expert, said the type of fracture also is important.
"There are certain characteristics of fractures that go with abuse," Perry said. "It would be really important to know what bone was fractured and the type of fracture."
The state's April 3 raid on the YFZ Ranch has been criticized by some who believe CPS overstepped its authority when it took all of the children and placed them in foster care after finding underage girls were "spiritually married" to much older men.
CPS officials counter that they found at least one underage girl who was pregnant or had children in each of the sect's 19 homes on the ranch when they first arrived on April 3.
The agency clarified that number on Monday, saying at least 31 of the 53 girls ages 14 to 17 are pregnant, have children or both. Another child was born to a teen mother on Tuesday.
All of the children have been placed in group homes and shelters around the state until the investigation is completed.
For CPS, determining ages has been one of the biggest challenges. The agency reached the 53 total after reclassifying 26 girls, who had said they were older than 18, as younger than 18.
Stephanie Goodman, spokeswoman for the state's Health and Human Services Department, said those girls had told officials they were younger than 18.
"For most of these children, we've been given different ages and different names," Goodman said. "We have teenagers who can't tell us their birthdates. Some have answered (that) they don't know. Others have said, 'I'm not supposed to tell you.' "
Under Texas law, children under age 17 generally cannot consent to sex with an adult. A girl can get married with parental permission at 16, but none of the sect's girls is believed to have had a legal marriage under state law. Also Wednesday, legal aid attorneys for some of the mothers filed an amended petition with the Third Court of Appeals in Austin, seeking the return of the children sent to residential foster care homes across the state.
"The wholesale removal of (the children) from their mothers was not justified," the petition read in part.
The department may have introduced evidence that some girls were being physically abused, but such evidence did not "pertain to the overwhelming majority of the children ... nor did it establish that each child was at risk of physical danger."
FReepmail to be added to the FLDS Eldorado Legal Case Ping List
Flying Inman Ping!
Sadly, the //sarc resembles real remarks by some.
There’s a special coming on next Tuesday that documents the baby cemetery for those born by minors who were handicapped and the SHAME the under age mothers experienced when their baby was born not quite “normal”. They were told to murder them. It's awful what these people are about. It has to STOP!
Ah, nothing like keeping up the tradition, Joe Smith would be proud...
Well if all the girls are taken by old men what are the boys supposed to do?
It's quite possible. C. S. Lewis, of all people, has a discussion of the topic in his Surprised By Joy -- buggery was a very common phenomenon at his school.
Lewis' comment was that the boys on the "pitching" end of things weren't really homosexuals, so much as they were looking for an outlet for their sexual urges. Most of the "catchers" acted as such for the benefits that accrued, rather than for any sexual satisfaction. Lewis differentiated those from the "tarts," who would offer themselves up to whomever was atop the power structure. The effective power structure, such as it was, was controlled by the boys rather than the adults at the school.
In this case, I think the atmosphere in the FLDS compound was probably incredibly sexually charged ... and the boys would have been shut out of it by the older men who had access to the girls. And thus their outlet would have been ... other boys.
It may have something to do with the number of children. If it’s only a few, it would be too easy to pin any allegations on certain children, thus identifying rape victims. In this case, nobody could possibly pin anything down to certain children.
Also, in most cases, you don’t have state legislature members demanding information in public sessions.
I’m getting kind of sick of the MSM labeling the FLDS as a “breakaway sect”. they are the ones who stayed true to Joe Smith’s and Brigham Young’s teachings, the LDS broke away.
I'm not a Mormon, so perhaps you can point me to the teachings that state that a 'prophet' can reassign a man's 'wives' and children to someone else if the man ticks the prophet off.
Of course in doing so they would have to also dismiss their history and therefore their existence for the teaching of the prophet Smith and his cronies are what they base their beliefs on...
I am and there is no such teaching. Typical anti-mormonisim.
George D. Smith wrote:
"Beginning in 1841, Joseph Smith took as plural wives several married women, as if exercising a variant of the feudal droit du seigneur: a king's right to the brides in his domain. This option was presented to the married woman as a favor to her. A woman who wanted higher status in the celestial kingdom could choose to leave a husband with lower status in the church, even if she had been sealed to him, and become sealed to a man higher in authority.
On February 19, 1854, Jedediah M. Grant, second counselor to President Brigham Young delivered a sermon that made it very plain that Joseph Smith did ask for other men's wives:
"What would a man of God say, who felt aright, when Joseph asked him for his money? He would say, 'Yes, and I wish I had more to help to build up the kingdom of God.' Or if he came and said, 'I want your wife?' 'O yes,' he would say, 'here she is, there are plenty more.'... Did the Prophet Joseph want every man's wife he asked for? He did not... If such a man of God should come to me and say, 'I want your gold and silver, or your wives,' I should say, 'Here they are, I wish I had more to give you, take all I have got.' " (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, page 14)
On October 8, 1854, Brigham Young made these controversial comments: "Then I reckon that the children of Adam and Eve married each other; this is speaking to the point. I believe in sisters marrying brothers, and brothers having their sisters for wives.... "This is something pertaining to our marriage relation. The whole world will think what an awful thing it is. What an awful thing it would be if the Mormons should just say we believe in marrying brothers and sisters. Well we shall be under the necessity of doing it, because we cannot find anybody else to marry." (The Teachings of President Brigham Young, Compiled and Edited by Fred C. Collier, Vol. 3, pages 362, 368)
I can go on and on and on with words right from their own mouths as quoted in books written, edited and published by the church itself. They are damned by their own words.
Ewwww. . .I never knew that was taught by Smith and Young. Disgusting.
THE MORMON ALLIANCE
On July 4, 1992, an organization known as The Mormon Alliance was formed for the purpose of countering “spiritual and ecclesiastical abuse in the Church and to protect the Church against defamatory actions.” This organization is composed of both Mormons and former Mormons who have been excommunicated from the church for disagreeing with some of the opinions promulgated by the leaders of the church.
At first members of the Mormon Alliance were mainly concerned about reporting incidents of spiritual and ecclesiastical abuse. As it turned out, however, they were deluged with accounts of sexual abuse and information indicating that this abuse was sometimes swept under the rug. Because of this development, the Mormon Alliance decided to compile a book containing over 300 pages of material relating to sexual abuse in the Mormon Church. It was published under the title, Case Reports of the Mormon Alliance, Vol. 1, 1995.
One thing that has alarmed many people is the accounts of Mormon bishops who have either engaged in sexual abuse or have failed to properly deal with the matter when it was brought to their attention. One woman recently reported to us that her husband was a bishop who sexually abused their children. She had to leave him to protect the children.
We, of course, do not mean to imply that most Mormon bishops are involved in sexual abuse or cover it up. The great majority of the bishops are sincere people who would never want to be involved in this type of abuse or in any type of a cover-up. Nevertheless, the word has gotten out that there is a problem in the Mormon Church. In fact, NBC has contacted us about this matter and we have turned over some information to those who are investigating the situation.
One disturbing thing that has been reported to us on a number of occasions is that when some bishops have conducted worthiness interviews with members of their ward they have asked questions regarding sexual matters that go far beyond the bounds of propriety. For example, one man reported to us that when he was young, both he and the girl he was going with felt they were becoming too intimate and went to the bishop for help. Instead of just giving the counsel they needed, the bishop questioned them at great lengths, asking all kinds of questions regarding what went on. The man described the questioning as “pornographic,” and said he felt that the bishop was actually enjoying the interrogation.
Another woman reported to us that when she went to the bishop for a temple recommend she was questioned extensively regarding her sexual relations with her own husband. The questioning became very explicit. Finally, she informed the bishop that she felt the interrogation was highly improper and said that she would not answer any more questions without her husband being present. When she later discussed the matter with her husband, he stated that the bishop had not asked him about details of their sexual life. Instead, he had willingly given him a temple recommend! She, of course, felt that the bishop was grilling her to satisfy his own interest in sexual matters.
The Mormon Alliance mentioned “a bishop [that lived in Oklahoma who] had been ‘legendary’ among the youth for asking sexually explicit questions during worthiness interviews. One young woman refused to be interviewed unless her father was present. The youth sarcastically nicknamed him ‘Bishop Triple-X’ because of the types of questions he asked, and his motto was, ‘You’re not worthy until I say you’re worthy.’ “ (Case Reports of the Mormon Alliance, Vol. 1, page 271, footnote 1)
Bishops begin interviewing children when they are young. Mormon children are supposed to be interviewed by the bishop when they are eight years old to see if they are ready for baptism. When a boy reaches the age of twelve, he is interviewed by a bishop to see if he is worthy to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. This interview is conducted behind closed doors.
These interviews continue as the boy advances in the priesthood. Unfortunately, some Mormon bishops have been accused of using these interviews as an opportunity to sexually abuse young men. Since the bishop is supposed to have special authority from God, sexual advances by the bishop tend to greatly confuse young men. Furthermore, it is very difficult for those who are abused to accuse the bishop of wrongdoing. Consequently, they tend to bottle up their feelings.
Jack McCallister, who was formerly a bishop in the Mormon Church, felt that it was very improper for one individual to be alone with a young man and ask all kinds of questions related to sexual matters:
“Standard Church policy is that two priesthood officers must be present to handle Church funds, a check and balance system to prevent financial error and inhibit the temptation to steal. And the Church conducts regular financial audits. How many priesthood officers are required to conduct a personal worthiness interview with a youth? One. And there are no procedures for auditing the actions of these leaders for inappropriate behavior.” (Case Reports, page 205)
Jack McCallister was especially concerned about these “worthiness interviews” because he himself was abused by his bishop in his office. He related the following:
“We were the only ones in the meetinghouse. We shook hands and he put his arms around me. He told me how much the Lord loved me. He felt directly inspired tonight to call me down to his office.... He asked if we could pray together before we talked. He said a lot of really nice things about me to God... I felt very special and very humble. It was one of the most beautiful, heartfelt, eloquent prayers that I’ve ever heard on my behalf, asking the Lord to bless me, watch over me, care for me, and assuring the Lord of what a fine wonderful young man I was.... Then we sat down in two chairs in front of his desk. He pulled his chair up really close to mine, looked me straight in the eyes through his pink-tinted bifocal lenses. I could see he still had tears in his eyes from the prayer. ‘What sincerity!’ I thought. ‘Maybe some day I can learn how to talk to God with such powerful impressive prayer language.’ “ (Ibid., pages 167-168)
After some conversation about temporal matters, the bishop proceeded to discuss sexual matters with him and eventually molested him. This abuse caused severe trauma to Jack. He wrote:
“I couldn’t figure out what was going on. He was the bishop. I was the obedient but unworthy servant. He was God’s chosen leader on earth. Whatever he did was directly authorized by God. My thoughts raced around.” (Ibid.)
Jack McCallister decided to keep the matter secret. Even though he eventually became a bishop, his suffering did not end. To add to his own pain, he learned that his own son was also victimized by another Mormon bishop. In a letter to Gordon B. Hinckley, the current president of the Mormon Church, Jack and his wife, Merradyth, expressed their dismay that things were being swept under the rug:
“In June of 1963, my husband Jack, had been sexually molested by his bishop (Samuel H. Gardener) [a bishop of the Oklahoma First Ward who died in 1967] for two years between 15-17. He was afraid to tell me because I wouldn’t love or respect him. After we had been married about four months, he told me what had happened and how ashamed he felt... I believed him.
“In June of 1993, our son, Scott, was 23 years old and recently returned from an honorable mission. He told my husband about being sexually molested between the age of 15-17 by his bishop (Ronald W. Phelps). Scott was ashamed to talk about it prior because he feared the negative reaction of others... I believed him.
“In September of 1993, the three of us talked to our Stake President, Gary James NEWMAN. Scott both told and graphically demonstrated the sexual abuse he suffered... The details and manner of the molestation were discounted and minimized by Pres. NEWMAN. He told us he couldn’t believe such a thing was true.... we also wrote you a letter explaining the details of the situation and asking for direct intervention and investigation into the matter from Church Headquarters. We heard nothing... only silence. Our pain increased. We talked with other member parents to see if they were aware of anything that had happened to their family members. We formed an emotional support group for survivors of sexual abuse.... We felt only contempt for us by Pres. NEWMAN. He threatened us to ‘either stop talking to the Church members about this or I’ll draw up the papers to have you excommunicated for failure to sustain your leaders and apostasy.’ He told us... they couldn’t accept Scott’s word over a priesthood leader held in high esteem...
“Because Pres. NEWMAN was not willing to hear our cries for help and told us to ‘do what you have to do... but stop talking to the members of the Church about this or I’ll excommunicate you,’ we went to the police and filed felony charges against Ron Phelps... The police informed us until there was more evidence developed, it would be difficult to prosecute the case. They believed Scott and recognized the deception used by typical pedophiles with multiple victims....
“A criminal background check revealed Ron Phelps had been arrested for indecent exposure prior to being called as Bishop in 1980 [the charges were later dropped]. He was recently arrested in an Oklahoma University rest-room in Norman Oklahoma on December 3, 1993. He did ‘unlawfully, willfully and wrongfully solicit, induce and entice one John Bishop, an undercover police officer, to commit an act of lewdness contrary to the form of the Statutes in such cases made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the State of Oklahoma.’ (Copy enclosed) We thought it was important to notify others with this public information to protect their children...” (Letter dated March 23, 1994)
Neither President Hinckley nor other church leaders in Salt Lake City were anxious to go to bat for the McCallisters.
Significantly, according to a statement made on television, the McCallisters filed felony charges against Ronald Phelps on September 13, 1993, over two months before he was arrested at the University of Oklahoma on December 2, 1993!
On April 20, 1994, The Yucon Review reported that Phelps “pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors for outraging public decency....” Local church leaders, however, seem to have been oblivious to the importance of these charges being made against Phelps prior to his arrest. In his zeal to hush up the whole matter Stake President Gary J. Newman sent a letter to Merradyth McCallister threatening her with excommunication:
“This letter is to inform you that the Stake Presidency is considering formal disciplinary action against you, including the possibility of disfellowshipment or excommunication...” (Letter dated July 29, 1994)
On August 2, 1994, Bishop Larry A. Morgan sent a letter to Mrs. McCallister informing her that she had been excommunicated: “It was the decision of the Council that you, Merradyth McCallister, are hereby excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for conduct contrary to the laws and order of the Church.”
Jack McCallister beat church leaders to the punch and withdrew his membership. In a letter to Bishop Morgan, dated July 24, 1994, he wrote: “I refuse to bow down before this false image. I refuse to be intimidated into silent consent. I refuse to place the reputation of the church ahead of the safety of our children. I refuse to protect child sexual molesters in high places.”
Mary Plourde, who also was a member of the church when Phelps was bishop, was very disturbed regarding the charges of sexual abuse and refused to be silent about the matter even though she was threatened with excommunication. On August 9, 1994, bishop Larry A. Morgan sent her a letter that contained the following: “It was the decision of the Council that you, Mary Snow Plourde, are hereby excommunicated...”
Since Jack MaCallister’s son did not have an eyewitness to testify that Ronald Phelps was guilty of sexually abusing him, we can understand why Mormon Church officials in Oklahoma would have a very difficult time trying to determine who was telling the truth. The fact that Phelps was arrested for his sexual behavior and pled guilty makes us very suspicious that Scott McCallister was indeed telling the truth.
It is evident that church leaders made a very serious mistake when they decided to excommunicate church members who were unable to keep silent. These people sincerely believed they were doing their Christian duty. Before the excommunications took place an attorney, Floyd W. Taylor, warned Stake President Gary J. Newman that it would be foolish to cut people off from the church to silence them:
“This firm has been counseling with Jack and Merradyth McCallister... There is more than enough here to put reasonable minds on inquiry. It is regrettable that you and the Church council appeared to be bent on a course of silencing the allegations of parents and victims of possibly abusive conduct perpetrated by persons affiliated with your Church, instead of listening with open minds and trying to find solutions.
“I am Roman Catholic. As you know, my church has experienced multiple charges of sexual abuse by clergy against minors. My church’s initial reaction was cover-up. The result was a plethora of lawsuits and astronomical liability losses. One Archdiocese is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Please do not interpret this as a threat of litigation. I am trying to make a plea to common sense and ask that you look upon the experience of the Catholic Church and not follow the same path. The Catholic Church today has reversed its initial course and is openly acknowledging the problem and is trying to do something about it. Your Church should at least be open to the possibility that these allegations may have some substance and that investigating the allegations is a more appropriate way of handling them than trying to silence the accusers through threats of disfellowshipment and excommunication.
“If the McCallisters and others who are accusing LDS officials of unspeakable acts are right, your Church will profit from listening and taking action to protect your most valuable asset, your children.... It is not my desire to be perceived as a legal threat to the LDS Church. The McCallisters love their religion and wish the Church no harm. Since they truly believe what they have alleged; and, if what they are saying is true, the worst thing they could do to your Church would be to become part of a cover-up which would jeopardize the safety of countless Mormon youngsters and open your Church up to the kind of legal quagmire the Catholic Church faces today. We urge you to reconsider your approach to this matter.” (Letter written by Floyd W. Taylor, Attorney At Law, dated March 14, 1994)
Look at post 15 and tell me where these quotes are in error. As posted, they look pretty, well, damning.
Exact same thing that happens in muslim countries. I'm not surprised at all.
The problem is neither do almost all mormons. In fact these types of quotes which are plentiful and well documented, seem so absolutely opposite to the constant stream of lies and propaganda the members receive from the church that most mormons upon seeing them feel so strongly that they are lies, they won't even check it out.
This is the cause of the emotional and strong reactions from them here at FR.
The mormon church is America's most sucessful cult....THE CULT OF GUILT.