Skip to comments.FLDS exodus prompts call for 'foster homes'
Posted on 12/26/2011 4:04:21 PM PST by Colofornian
Imprisoned polygamist leader Warren Jeffs has reportedly issued an edict to his followers with a deadline -- renew allegiances to the Fundamentalist LDS Church or be excommunicated.
With a Dec. 31 deadline looming, non-profit groups who help those leaving Utah's polygamous communities say an ongoing exodus from the FLDS Church is turning into a "humanitarian crisis," with people walking away with no place to go.
"You've got new control where you have to give everything," James Barlow told FOX 13. "And I mean everything."
Barlow left the FLDS Church last month after refusing to give his allegiance to Jeffs. Barlow, 19, described being called before Jeffs' brother, Lyle, and asked to confess his sins and be re-baptized into the FLDS Church. Tired of the increasing restrictions on people's lives within the church, Barlow left with the clothes on his back.
"I said 'no' and walked out the door," he said. "To come out here and just fall on my head, just not have anything. Nothing... nobody to give me anything, a roof over my head."
He wound up at a home in the Salt Lake City area where his sister, Ruth, has been staying. She left the FLDS Church in September after deciding she no longer believed in the faith under Jeffs.
"I've really enjoyed the family," Ruth Barlow said in an interview with FOX 13. "They've been really good and really fun to be around. It's different than being with my own family, but it's still the same."
The siblings are being "fostered" by the group Holding Out Help, which works with those in Utah's polygamous communities. Since Jeffs went to prison, the group said it has seen a steady stream of people leaving the FLDS Church.
"They leave with absolutely nothing," said Holding Out Help's Tonia Tewell. "The first thing we try to hit is the basic needs: food, clothing and shelter."
Warren Jeffs is serving a life sentence in a Texas prison for child sex assault related to underage marriages. Since he's been imprisoned, he's released a steady stream of "revelations" he claims are from God to lawmakers across the country. They include demands that he be released or the wrath of the Almighty will destroy the earth. The most recent revelations sent to Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff claimed they were a "final warning."
Amongst his followers, Jeffs has reportedly made even more demands. Ex-FLDS members tell FOX 13 he has demanded that children give up toys, and adults sell things like ATVs.
"The demands range from coming up with $5,000 at the end of the month to handing over all the food stamps. I've heard they're no longer allowed to have sexual relations with their wives except to have children," Tewell said.
Tewell said she has heard of as many as 50 people a month leaving the polygamous border towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz. Some are going to a rival polygamous leader. Others, mostly young adults, are trying to find their way in the world. Holding Out Help and Utah's Safety Net Committee (a coalition of government agencies, social service agencies and polygamists) are trying to find shelter for everyone.
"We need the entire community here in the Salt Lake Valley to step up," said Tewell. "We cannot do this alone any longer."
The Safety Net Committee and Holding Out Help are setting up sort-of "foster homes" across the state. The Safety Net Committee has been holding open houses in St. George, asking people to be willing to open up their homes for children, teenagers, adults or entire families.
"Would I encourage other people to do it? Absolutely. It's been, I think, a blessing to our family," said Kristi Gower, who is hosting the Barlow siblings.
The Safety Net Committee said it would conduct background checks and has a few terms for families willing to foster those from the polygamous communities. More information can be found at holdingouthelp.org or by contacting the Safety Net Committee through Utah's Family Support Center (www.familysupportcenter.org).
James Barlow said with a New Year's Eve deadline coming, more people will likely be leaving.
"Family means everything to most of us from there," he said. "I know, to everybody I know, it means everything. That's why a lot of people haven't left. But you have to the end of the year and you're excommunicated."
This fLDS generation was NEVER LDS -- so they're not renegade Mormons. They just take Lds Doctrine & Covenants 132 -- still Mormon "scripture" -- the same way Brigham Young and other Lds leaders take it.
And just as Young ruled territorial Utah with an iron fist, that's the way Warrn Jeffs is still ruling -- from prison.
From the article: Tewell said she has heard of as many as 50 people a month leaving the polygamous border towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.
With the deadline coming, that may be increase.
From the article: Warren Jeffs is serving a life sentence in a Texas prison for child sex assault related to underage marriages. Since he's been imprisoned, he's released a steady stream of "revelations" he claims are from God to lawmakers across the country. They include demands that he be released or the wrath of the Almighty will destroy the earth. The most recent revelations sent to Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff claimed they were a "final warning."
Well, that's the interesting part here: The Utah AG serves as the "news filter" for Jeffs' "final warning." (I guess, in Utah, the AG office is the "PR" Division for Jeffs)
Here's an article from earlier this month: FLDS community said to be purging itself of outside influence
Yay! Refugees! How many you gonna get???
A coalition of government agencies, social service agencies and polygamists?
Religion almost makes me as sick as politics . . . almost!
All on food stamps..... What a scam. I bet those polygamists on TLC collect food stamps as well.
The religion of the pervert prophet strikes again.... This works on Muslims too!
Fruits of Joseph Smith spoil the barrel AGAIN.
Where’s Myth???? He could fix this, just like the Olympics and Massachusetts healthcare....
Since polygamy is not recognized within state or federal laws, all of the “wives” except the first “legal” one are single moms.
So they get all of the same bennies as your inner city single moms.
They are not as “self-sufficient” as some here on FR pretend they are.
Polygamy isn't just against the law in Utah and Arizona. It's prohibited by the State Constitutions of both Utah (Article Three, Section 1") and Arizona (Article 2, Section 20. Why? Because of the wide-spread illegal polygamy by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at this time Utah and Arizona became states. In fact, in the case of Utah, the LDS Church had to give up polygamy for Utah to become a state (we won't get into the deceptive 1890 Manifesto, and the following Second Manifesto of 1904).
The anti-polygamy provision of the Utah Constitution may be unique among all provision of any kind among all the fifty states. It specifically states that the people of Utah can't change that provision of their own constitution without permission of the United States. That's how much the United States trusted the people of Utah at the time of statehood:
"The following ordinance shall be irrevocable without the consent of the United States and the people of this State . . . No inhabitant of this State shall ever be molested in person or property on account of his or her mode of religious worship; but polygamous or plural marriages are forever prohibited
Utah Constitution Article Three, Section 1.
Bigamy is a crime under Utah law (Utah Criminal Code Section 76-7-101, which includes purporting to marry another or cohabitating with another when one is married - specifically to address post-Manifesto 'polygamy,' where a party can be legally married only once. Polygamous co-habitation is illegal under the Arizona Constitution.
One might assume that the Attorneys General of the States of Utah and Arizona would have been enforcing the anti-polygamy laws - because we're not just talking in the recent past, after recent Supreme Court rulings. But they don't enforce them. And they haven't enforced them. Why? I'll let you hold your finger to the prevailing religious winds in Utah and northern Utah and take an educated guess.
Am I presuming that the laws are not enforced? No. I'm taking the Attorney General of Utah at his word. The official website of the Utah State Attorney General, Mark Shurleff, states that:
Polygamy is illegal in Utah and forbidden by the Arizona constitution. However, law enforcement agencies in both states have decided to focus on crimes within polygamous communities that involve child abuse, domestic violence and fraud.
Which means: "we're not going to prosecute any polygs. They're everywhere. They've always been everywhere. Do you actually think we meant to honor that commitment to the United States? Oh, c'mon."
I know that many people will say the government shouldn't be involved in marriage, but this situation goes further than that. It's not a case of the government staying out of religion, it's a case of the government being told not embarrass the prevailing state religion. The Attorneys General aren't going to take actions that put a spotlight on polygamy because . . .
It is the policy and practice for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to excommunicate anyone involved in polygamy or who are in any polygamous organization.
while that is true Dan, the revelation from 'god' to smith - D & C section 132 is still mormon scripture and doctrine.
The LDS Church still says that polygamy stopped with the 1890 Manifesto. That's certainly not true. I assume you know that.
I also assume you know there are many peer-reviewed scholarly papers written even at Brigham Young, as well as award-winning history books about how the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve ignored the 1890 Manifesto. I can provide cites if you would like.
And you know about the Reed Smoot hearings, the institutional deception involved in that, and the 1904 "this time we sort of really mean it" Manifesto?
Now, at this point, if you want to tell me that the LDS Church excommunicated everyone involved in polygamy, I'd be quite disappointed in the LDS Church (but I know it didn't happen). Those families living in polygamy weren't excommunicated. (That would have been cruel) They continued to live in polygamy into the 1960s.
You're aware of that, right? That while saying it was the practice and policy to excommunicate those who practiced polygamy, only those who publicly protested the abandonment of polygamy were punished by the Church? The thousands and thousands of polygamous families living in 1904 continued to live in polygamy.
Do you have some in your history? I certainly know many LDS who do.
So, when did the LDS Church put this policy in place? Before or after they didn't enforce the 1890 Manifesto? Or before or after they didn't enforce the 1904 Manifesto? Or did they keep track of the last polygamous family and spouse who died in the 1960s?
The LDS Church wasn't heartless enough to cut them all loose in 1904 . . . and they didn't. They just said they did.
And every time some nutcase like Jeffs is in the news for polygamy, the history of polygamy in the LDS church is in the news. The LDS church and its members are required to tell people that they don't practice polygamy. The LDS Church has to issue statements that according to its style guide, nobody should use the words "Mormon" or "Mormonism" except with respect to The Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Polygamy is a big pain in the rear for good people like you, isn't it?
And every time some compound is breached, some guy is put on trial (particularly if he's taking child brides), and some cameras catch fleeting glances of girls in prairie dresses, it's bad public relations for the LDS church - even if it's not the LDS church involved.
What's the solution? Exactly what the Attorneys General of Arizona and Utah have stated on that website. Don't arrest people for polygamy unless things like child abuse are involved. Arresting people for polygamy is worse pubic relations for the LDS church than it is for the sect that gets raided.
And who calls the political shots in Utah? Not those small sects - but the people who get embarrassed by those polygamy arrests: the LDS, and good people like you.
So there's pressure not to arrest people for polygamy.
As a result, a lot of these people are permitted to practice as they may:
Short Creek Community
Latter Day Church of Christ
Apostolic United Brethren
Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Church of the Firstborn of the Fulness [sic] of Times
Church of the Lamb of God
Church of the New Covenant in Christ
Confederate Nations of Israel
Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
School of the Prophets
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Kingdom of God
True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days
The Church of the Firstborn and the General Assembly of Heaven
Restoration Church of Jesus Christ
Order of Enoch
Zion's Order, Inc.
Perfected Church of Jesus Christ of Immaculate Latter-day Saints
Church of Jesus Christ (Bullaite)
Community of Christ
Church of Jesus Christ (Toneyite)
Independent RLDS / Restoration Branches
Church of Jesus Christ Restored 1830
Church of Christ (Lion of God Ministry/Clarkite)
Church of Jesus Christ (Zion's Branch)
Restoration Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Church of Christ (Temple Lot) (Hedrickite)
Church of Christ (Fettingite) (Hedrickite)
Church of Christ at Halley's Bluff (Hedrickite)
Church of Christ (Restored) (Hedrickite)
Church of Christ "With the Elijah Message" (Hedrickite)
Church of Christ (Hancock) (Hedrickite)
Church of Christ (Burtite) (Hendrickite)
Church of Israel (Hendrickite)
Church of Christ with the Elijah Message (The Assured Way of the Lord) (Hendrickite)
The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite)
Church of Jesus Christ (Cutlerite)
True Church of Jesus Christ (Cutlerite)
Restored Church of Jesus Christ (Cutlerite)
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)
Holy Church of Jesus Christ (Strangite)
Church of Jesus Christ (Drewite) (Strangite)
True Church of Jesus Christ Restored (Strangite)
Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Whitmerite)
How many you gonna get???
- - - - - -
You live in Colorado, how many are you gonna take in?
Who lives in Colorado?
It may be CURRENT policy (although I know at least 2 mainstream LDS polygamous families - one is a Bishop), but they STILL haven’t repudiated D&C 132 (the revelation giving polygamy).
Even OD 1 doesn’t mention recinding the doctrine, it is just a statement that WW would follow federal law.
Sorry, IDAHO, close enough. How many, Fred?
It's still canon that polygamy is essential to one's eternal salvation and exaltation.
But the question I have about it is this;
...since it was taught to be essential for not only one's salvation and an essential qualifier for one to be granted entry into the celestial kingdom, why did God change His mind to suit man?
Wait a minute. Idaho and Colorado. Close enough? CLOSE ENOUGH??? Will you stop at nothing????
Here’s the deal.
I don’t have any money. We live check to check. No insurance.
I lost my good paying job last year and had to do the unemployment/savings thing until I found another job.
Shortly after finding that job I had to use some savings for a medical problem. Then I helped my daughter move to Portland and that used more. THEN my DIL decided to become a full time junkie and to help keep the 2 grandbabies with my son I used more for the lawyer. And THEN my wife had to have a procedure. And the savings are gone.
As you will remember, my son is deaf. He can’t hear the kids (26 and 13 months) at night, so they moved back into the trailer with us. And he has no job.
The bright spot is I bought the trailer across the street last year for the son and DIL. It is sitting there empty, but the power and gas are on. And I have a lot of it fixed up. Money being tight has slowed that process some. I pay the lot rent. I need to get it finished so I can sell it. Or move the son back in.
The landlords won’t let me sublet . Nothing in it for them.
But Vigo (the landlord) could probably be talked into letting a couple or 6 12-14 year old girls move in. Under his supervision, of course. He was a Bishop you know.
Left up to me I simply could not afford to feed them. Just feeding us and paying double bills takes all I have.
There it is.
It is the best I can offer. (hangs head in shame)