On April 3, 2008 the Yearning for Zion Ranch was raided in West Texas and since that time over 461 children has been taken into custody. What caused it all was a frantic call to Texas law enforcement from a frightened 16 year old of the cult who had been forced to marry a 50 year old man. She alleges that the man raped her repeatedly, impregnated her (she now has an 8 month old baby) and also beats her while his other wives look on. She thinks she is pregnant now and she wanted to save her sister from going through the horrendous ordeals that she has experienced. Today law enforcement uncovered a series of locked vaults and a bed in the FLDS temple. Former members have reported that the bed was used by older men who would have sex with their child brides after marriage.
My only hope is that all people who are caught up in religious sects like the FLDS and are being abused and oppressed will find deliverance somehow. No one on this earth should be made to feel their life is worthless, their destiny pointless and their aspirations are sinful. In this age of growing enlightenment I pray that people will be delivered from the arcane ignorance that religions such as the FLDS propagates. Even if you have half a mind use that half to question and analyze what it is people are trying to lead you to believe. Always remember you don’t have to follow anyone, God gave you two feet to walk and stand on your own, and you have a mind to think for yourself and strong arms and hands to fight for your rights!
FLDS is a prime example of how people can take their right to freedom of religion and use it to oppress and hurt others. FLDS is not a new religion it is a break off from mainstream Mormonism going back to 1930. Generations of women and children have been abused and made into mere sex slaves but worst of all have been made to believe that this is the life God meant for them. Grandmothers in FLDS have passed on to their daughters and granddaughters the importance of submitting to their husbands, having children and how if they don’t then they will be damned to hell and are breaking God’s laws.
Young women between the ages of 13 and 16 are forced to marry men much older than them and consummate their marriage. Texas officials report that some of the 461 children appear to be pregnant. Over 139 women have voluntarily left FLDS with their children and are now in custody of Texas social services and law enforcement. I feel sorry for these women who have been taught since birth that they are inferior to males and must submit to whatever they request. They can be moved from their households at anytime and made to marry another male in the church. The 16 year old who called Texas law enforcement told how she was beaten many times by her husband as his other wives held her baby and watched. What kind of religion makes people so afraid that they will watch another individual be beaten and not intervene? Think of all the atrocities that have happened to individuals down through the years in FLDS.
More appalling are the 400 or so known young boys from 13 and up who have been kicked out the FLDS to balance competition for the young girls. The young men are left on their own in Arizona and Utah with no source of funds, support, protection or means to survive. In my opinion the church and the families who cast these youth into homelessness should be held accountable for the suffering they must endure. I don’t know which is worse being cast into a world which you know nothing about and are taught is evil or having to live in a world where you cannot think for yourself. The young men have been taught all of their lives that the outside world is evil and are not taught anything about our modern society or how we operate; trying to adjust is a total shock that leaves scars for life. FLDS tells these young men that because they are being cast out of the community they are damned to hell and worth nothing. The young men can no longer contact families, friends or anyone in the FLDS they have been excommunicated.
When religion goes bad people stop thinking for themselves they become brainwashed into believing almost anything and allow themselves to be violated. They are taught to obey their leaders, never to question and to accept their leader’s word as absolute truth. Warren Jeffs the former President and Prophet of FLDS taught the 6,000-10,000 followers that black people were evil and are cursed from God building racism. Jeffs warned members that laughter causes the spirit of God to leak from their bodies. He based this belief on an obscure statement by Joseph Smith. Members were banned from reading or even owning the Bible or any other religious or spiritual book.
When religions start to ban access to knowledge whether through books, internet, TV or even communicating and socializing with others outside of their flock it’s a red flag. The quickest way to enslave a person is through the mind, causing them to flounder in ignorance while you remain their only source of knowledge, keep this up and they will believe anything you tell them. Warren Jeffs and the other leadership of FLDS were able to persuade generations of young girls that their only purpose in life was to marry, have babies and tend to their households.