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Guilty Moms in Texas Cult?

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Once it's clear who the parents of these children are, what should happen to their mothers?


A Texas judge has ordered the 416 children removed from the polygamous sect in Texas to remain in state custody, and, along with their parents, to undergo DNA testing to determine both paternity and maternity, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

The tests will help the court sort out a tangled web of familial relations and reveal not only who the real dads are, but the real moms as well. This could be needed, experts say, because a younger child in the sect may consider more than one of the so-called "sister-wives" to be his or her mom.

According to some legal experts, once moms are identified, there's a possibility they, along with the dads, could be charged as complicit to statutory rape, if they were found to willingly turn over their underage daughters, some who may have been as young as 12 or 13, for "spiritual marriages."

"As long as the women were conspiring in the child sex abuse, knowingly allowing these underage marriages, all of them are capable of being indicted," says Marci Hamilton, an expert on church-state issues at Cardoza Law School in New York and author of the recently released "Justice Denied: What America Must Do To Protect Its Children."

No charges have been filed yet, but do you think the moms should be held accountable and face charges for the sexual abuse of these girls?

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43 comments so far | Post a comment now
Dot April 21, 2008, 12:44 PM

Absolutely they should be held accountable.

Anonymous April 21, 2008, 12:57 PM

I just finished reading Escape by Carolyn Jessop and I don’t think these women had any say in their daughters being married. If they spoke up against what their “husband” was allowing to happen to their daughters they would have been brutally punished. They are in a no win situation in the community where they live….women have NO rights.

Greg April 21, 2008, 1:12 PM

Carolyn Jessop is a liar.

Do some research instead of just believing what you read. When she was 13, she made a claim of sexual abuse, but a medical exam showed no evidence of abuse. She still keeps telling the same false story, and fools like you continue to believe it.

John April 21, 2008, 1:35 PM

Right Gregg, all sexual abuse leaves medically recognizable debris. This is false statement, as it is possible for the abuse to not be detected medically for a number of reasons.

You seem to be just another man out to keep the blame for rape firmly on women.

In this case, there are a number of women who have also spoken in the same vein as Carolyn, and so I may not believe her story 100% but I do know that it is probably mostly true.

As far as the mothers being victims, then being convicted of complicit rape will help to get them out of the situation as well. In some cases the only way to help people is to remove their rights.

Hopefully this does not turn into a witch hunt, and justice is truly served.

J. Smith April 21, 2008, 1:39 PM

These anti-women, pro-sex-with-young-girls weirdos should be stopped at all costs.

Bravo to the government and hopefully this “sect” will be stamped out forever in the not-too-distant future.

Beth April 21, 2008, 1:45 PM

I think there are too many children to be taken away from their mothers. I think Texas should let all the women and children go back to the compound and be together in the environment they are accustomed to. Round up all of the MEN and send them somewhere(women and children outnumber them anyway). Then the court order mandatory “classes” for all women and children to teach them about abuse (all kinds) and the laws that pertain to it in the state of Texas. The men can get the same while separated from the women and children. I just can’t imagine all of those children taken from their mothers and placed into foster homes that are probably overloaded to begin with!

k April 21, 2008, 1:46 PM

Thinking moms may want to think very hard about what is going on with these mothers.

Them and their children marched from their homes like drug dealers and rapists; Thrown into a veritable prison where they may not talk on the phone event to their lawyers; Allowed only to stay with some of their kids while others are held elsewhere; Told that if they leave they may never see their babies again; Watched over, routinely searched and intimidated by armed men.

We all love our children and when we hear that there even might be a hint of abuse, we think of our children and shudder. What would happen to our children were the state we lived in to gather up our whole neighborhood in a blanket arrest? How many teen pregnancies in a neighborhood constitute evidence of a culture of abuse? How many divorces and re-marriages constitute polygamy?

These strange religious people have the same rights and protections as we do. Odd dresses and fanatic religious views are not crimes. I know how much I love my children. I cannot imagine any mother loving their children any less. Can you?

Now we have to ask ourselves, do we think that the State of Texas, or any bureaucrat working for them loves these children? I cannot see it. I would not call them inhuman, but any trip to the local motor vehicles department shows us what a government job does to the souls of those who work there.

More worrisome is the obviousness in which politics is at least some of the motive for this. When I project that community being arrested all at once, onto an inner city neighborhood with teen pregnancies, or heaven forbid, onto my own home and city, even onto my own children, I cringe.

Thinking moms must consider, what if that were me? Is what is going on really fair? Is this love? There is only one answer consistent with a mother’s love, and it does not involve guns, guards and dogs.

Bittersweet April 21, 2008, 2:13 PM


While you bring up some valid points to consider “K,” I think you’re missing an even BIGGER issue.

You said: “These strange religious people have the same rights and protections as we do. Odd dresses and fanatic religious views are not crimes. I know how much I love my children. I cannot imagine any mother loving their children any less. Can you?”

You’re right—Odd clothes and fanatic religious beliefs are not crimes, BUT allowing your 12 yr. old daughter to be “married”/raped by a 60 something yr old man IS a crime.

So my question to YOU, K, is this: You say you love children…could you do that? Could you justify giving your child to a grown perverted man for his sexual depravity all in the name of some religion??

It’s not about clothes, bad hair, and fanaticism: it’s about adults who’ve endangered and either ALLOWED and/or INFLICTED emotional, sexual, mental and physical abuse on children who cannot protect themselves.

I don’t care how you spin it…THAT is NOT something ANY parent who “loves” their kids would do.

Kate April 21, 2008, 2:29 PM

Let me preface this by saying that I do NOT condone what is going on with the cult.

Let’s not forget that these people are brainwashed into this system of beliefs. Sure, there comes a point in one’s life when one should begin to think critically about his or her beliefs, but many times in these cults that just doesn’t happen. These women were born into this cult culture, and this is normal for them. They do not understand the world the way that the rest of the world understands it. To them, a 12 year old girl is a woman of child-bearing age, and she is ready to be married.

Have you people never studied other cultures where this sort of thing is accepted as normal? When you are brought up in this system of living, it’s all that you know. Especially when you are closed off from the rest of the world.

I’m not saying that we should not fault these women at all. That’s not my decision to make, thank God. I’m just saying, try to consider WHY the women might allow this to happen to their children before you write them all off as crazy. These women are victims of severe mental abuse, and they should be treated as such

k April 21, 2008, 2:44 PM


There is no doubt that either of us would sacrifice everything for our children’s health and welfare. Your reaction is understandable, your fears reasonable… except the basis for them is an untruth.

There is no evidence that each of those 400 children were having sex with 60 year old men. There is not even evidence and ANY of them had sex with 60 year old men.

All that has been given in evidence was an anonymous call from an unverified source that said she was abused. The accused man was hundreds of miles away, never lived in Texas, and the words this unidentified girl used were inconsistent with these people’s culture: They do not celebrate nor recognize easter, but the caller said she was abused during a family easter celebration!

It’s like someone called the police and claiming they were abused at a family Hanukkah celebration by their Baptist parents!

If you love your children, you have to be skeptical. It’s not like the state hasn’t done great terrible things to families before. There was a time, (matter of fact the very beginning of child services was founded on this) where native American children were stripped from their parents for just these same accusations. Those children were beat for speaking their language of their tribe.

Now, in hindsight, we know that those actions were political an nature and purpose, designed to destroy a vulnerable people’s culture, to force “Christianity” on “heathens”. In turn the perpetrators were lauded as kind christians saving children from horrible abuse.

To ignore the possibility that this incident may have the same sort of motivations in part is a dangerous denial. Dangerous, not only to these children but our own as well!

JrzWrld April 21, 2008, 4:14 PM

oh wah. Please spare me the comparisons to Native American removals and the Holocaust - they are a horrific insult to the sufferings of both groups. The removal of these children does not involve beatings, torture or mass slaughter. And it’s all very well to talk about respecting other cultures, but let’s remember first off that there is one culture that must be respected and that is American culture - which is designed to respect the rights of the individual. Go ahead and complain about violated parental rights. But first consider that this is a group that permits underage marriages and abandonment of children who have never had any exposure to the country to which they can claim citizenship. These children live in a closed society where they never have any true knowledge as to what their rights are or how the broader culture that they belong to operates. The thriving communities of the Hasidim and the Amish do not operate at this level of isolation, and their members are indeed able to choose whether they will continue in those cultures or not. These children are treated like veal, leaving them open to all sorts of abuse. No, not all of these parents are abusive, but they have chosen to raise their children within a religious framework that is inherently abusive, knowing that they may not necessarily be able to protect them. It’s painful now, but this is a situation that needs to be sorted out. These parents must understand their obligations to their children.

Lrm April 21, 2008, 5:08 PM

This is ridiculous. Many women have escaped these types of male dominated compounds precisely BECAUSE of their fear for their children. That is the “motherly” thing to do. A mother’s only fear should be that her children be protected from abuse. There are way more women on that compound than men. As a woman it is hard for me to accept that these women did not feel any of theirs and their children’s treatment was wrong. I do think lessor changes should be leveled on them when compared with that of the men however

Lilathe April 21, 2008, 5:11 PM

Most of the allegations so far have proven to be untrue.
Sarah? Hoax phone call by 33 year old woman.
Children knew this “sarah” untrue because she never in fact existed.
Children had no crayons? Untue as evidenced by pictures of the ranch.
Girl had to “look at her husband” before giving her age so is a minor? proved untrue, she is an adult.
“In yet another FLDS raid-related development, coordinating attorneys, legal aid attorneys and guardians ad litem announced an undisclosed number of 20-30 young women whose adult status had been debated had indeed been determined to be legally adults. “

Many of these girls are the “ALLEGED” underaged girls that were pregnant or had children. Some of them had drivers licenses, birth certificates, and income tax returns to prove they were over 18 but Comrade Meisner and Comrade Voss looked deep into their eyes and called them liars and said their documents might be fake.
These ADULTS were refused to be allowed to hire their own attorneys and had to have pro-bono attorneys selected by the courts (again no offense to wonderful attorneys that volunteer their time) But just how LEGAL is refusing legal counsel to an adult?

How LEGAL is it to keep the women in the CPS compound away from their attorneys?

I am not sure that some underage girls were not married or pregnant. But I think CPS is greatly exaggerating. There are supposedly 5 pregnant teens. One sister-in-law posted that her 17 year old brother was married to one of the 17 year old girls with one child. The 17 year old boy called his sister crying because his baby’s mama was across the grass field and he could see her but not talk to her.

Bittersweet April 21, 2008, 7:37 PM

2nd response to K:

I’m really not sure where you’re getting your information? We could go back and forth all day, so hopefully as this goes on, more and more of the facts will be established because I’M hearing and reading that there’ve been a few preteens (12 and 13 specifically) who’ve had children which is evidence enough of abuse. So, I’m curious…where are you getting your news saying there’s no evidence of this and that, because alot of us are hearing the opposite.

Anonymous April 21, 2008, 10:03 PM

Beth you make a most excellent point. The women and the children are being made to suffer, while the men who are the alleged offenders, remain in comfort in their own environment on the ranch.

Anonymous April 21, 2008, 10:23 PM

Welfare fraud, sexual abuse, rape, children taken out of schooling when they become teenagers, abandoned children…….these are all crimes. Any adult outside that “religious” compound would be arrested. Why should the adults inside that compound be treated differently? I want to know if all the men are giving their DNA to be tested! I would also like to know if any of the men have left the compound and even the state after the children were taken. When I see members interviewed, they are always women. WHERE are the men?!

Anonymous April 21, 2008, 10:24 PM

Welfare fraud, sexual abuse, rape, children taken out of schooling when they become teenagers, abandoned children…….these are all crimes. Any adult outside that “religious” compound would be arrested. Why should the adults inside that compound be treated differently? I want to know if all the men are giving their DNA to be tested! I would also like to know if any of the men have left the compound and even the state after the children were taken. When I see members interviewed, they are always women. WHERE are the men?!

Eve April 22, 2008, 10:33 AM

I don’t think the government had a choice. They had to seperate the mothers from the children because the mothers have been brainwashed to do the men’s bidding. Keeping the mothers with the children would hinder the investigation because the children will do as their mothers tell them and the mothers do as the men tell them it is a vicious never ending circle.

Jack April 22, 2008, 11:46 AM

Good. Make an example of these child abusers. No one is above the law. And making girls as young as 13 marry and have sex with old men is just revolting. If they think that hiding behind a so-called “religion” is going to excuse their crimes…they have another thing coming. No mercy. Period.

Vicki April 22, 2008, 4:39 PM

I believe the women are doing what they are told by the men and/or the prophet. If they are raised in this environment they know no other way. This is a normal lifestyle for all of them. So are the men wrong too if this is all they know?

The whole “compound” idea needs to be SHUT DOWN, all other compounds in the US, too. Then everyone involved need to be put them all in therapy.

This spiritual marriage, spiritual mother’s, spiritual father’s, are all sick. It is damaging both emotionally and physically. The inner marriages cause birth defects, that in itself, is abuse and cruel.

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