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Posted by on May 8, 2008 in Society | 7 comments

The women of FLDS

I don’t know nearly enough about them. But I was fascinated to learn they had put up a website.

On The Media has more:

BOB GARFIELD: The FLDS community has been described as something like a tribe in Papua, New Guinea, that is untouched by the modern world. Are they really living in the middle of the 18th century?

BROOKE ADAMS: I think that’s a false perception of this group. They have a number of people who have been to college. They are quite Internet-savvy, as the world now knows with the websites that they have put up to spread their view of what’s happened to them in Texas. So I think the idea that they’re totally isolated is false.

BOB GARFIELD: I want to ask you about the websites that have popped up amid all of the uproar. Are they coming from within the Yearning for Zion compound itself?

BROOKE ADAMS: Yes and no. The FLDS that are there at the ranch have put up, as far as I know, two websites on which they have posted a number of the pictures they took during the initial days of the raid there at the ranch. But there are a number of other websites that have been put up related to the actions in Texas. […]

BOB GARFIELD: There is another issue, apart from the welfare of the children, that has emerged in all of this, and that is the women in the community, who have been occasionally portrayed as essentially being slaves, having to be utterly submissive to the men in the household.

And I wonder if, in your reporting on this story, you get the sense that the women are utterly powerless within this community.

BROOKE ADAMS: I don’t get that impression. And I’ll talk about two women that have spoken publicly about their lifestyle in particular.

One of them testified she talked about how she had gone to college and then had gone on to pursue training as an EMT. And she said she did that even though her husband had not wanted her to become an EMT. So there was an example of some independence and modern thinking and making her own decisions about her lifestyle.

Another woman testified about going to college, again, and being trained in computer design and Web design. And, again, she decided to pursue her career interest.

Brooke Adams is described as the Salt Lake Tribune’s polygamy reporter.

I’m thinking that there’s much more to this FLDS story than meets the eye. Point me to it people!

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  • Holly_in_Cincinnati

    Try reading “Under the Banner of Heaven” by Jon Krakauer

  • Lynx

    Oh there is more than meets the eye. The assumption is that slaves, when given a chance to escape or tell their story, will not lie and will do everything they can to escape. If not that, then it’s assumed that they are brainwashed BUT that this brainwashing makes them dim-witted and simple-minded, and that more sophisticated and educated people (the reporters) will easily see through any ruse.

    I think this assumption is the problem. Many, maybe even most, of these women are slaves but are utterly convinced this is the right thing to do, and they will work actively to maintain this lifestyle. They will have no qualms at all about lying to reporters or to anyone, telling them what they assume they need to say (we’re fine, we do this by choice, I’m perfectly free, no one ever beats me). They’re lifestyle teaches them to be excellent at lying, hiding, and evading. Texas authorities have talked about how even some very young children are very deft at avoiding straight answers in response to questions.

    Though FLDS has different levels of extremity (they are all extreme) the YFZ group was the worst. I would instantly doubt the veracity of any womans claim to higher education, or at the very least try to back it up with actual records. If she went to college there must be a record of that no? If you have a degree in web design could you explain this to me?

    Notice how the FLDS is only showing the women. It’s only the women who are giving interviews, the page only asks for children to be reunited with their mothers, it’s all about the women. Where the hell are the child-raping men? They are hiding behind the skirts of their wives, since pity and sympathy may fall to them, but little pity will be given to a man who “marries” a 15 year old girl.

  • EEllis

    Any mother who is content to allow her 15 yo daughter to be forced to “marry” 50 yo man isn’t much of a mother. I have little sympathy for them. The idea that because a few of them are in situations that allow them some freedoms doesn’t begin to excuse keeping children in an environment with such rampant abuse.

  • DLS

    I bet X-rays of the kids would show evidence of old fractures. Just suspecting.

  • Lynx

    DLS, no suspecting necessary, it’s already been shown, even amongst very young children:

  • JoeMamaL

    The following is a great resource on polygamy from the Utah Attorney General.

    “The Primer- Helping Victims of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse in Polygamous Communities”

  • runasim

    Lynx summed up what i’ve been thinking.
    Then I got into trouble by continuing to think.

    These isssues are clear in the present extreme case.
    But i wonder about the progression from the ‘normal’ kind of cultural influneces to what is, eventually, extreme.

    It can happen in small, unremarkable steps over time, sometimes over generations. Crossing the border to what is exreme may not even be noticed.

    At what point does patriotism or tribe loyalty become nationlism and eventually, fanaticism? If it’s a progression, does anyone notice?

    Is this how torture came back into our arsenal in foreigh reltions?


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