by Elizabeth T. Andrews
American Reporter Correspondent
November 26, 2007
AND THE RAPES GO ON ...
CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- An evil brother sleeps tonight on a narrow cot in a narrow cell in St. George, Utah.
Warren Jeffs, self-deluded "prophet" of The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was convicted last week of accessory to rape and received two 5-years-to-life sentences.
That's the good news. The horrible news is that, in the compounds he built, little girls as young as 12 will still crawl into bed tonight and cry for their mommies while waiting for their old or middle-age husbands to come to bed.
We Americans often think Middle East men who add young girls and female slaves to their multiple-wives collections have horns, a pitchfork and a scaly tail. And yet, squatting in the American west from Canada to New Mexico, Warren Jeffs compounds have, for years, broken state and federal laws, grown rich on American taxpayer money and are almost exempt from local, county, state and federal intervention.
Sheriff's deputies, policemen, and even the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who should be protecting girl-children from rape, and women from involuntary servitude, have for years simply looked the other way, yawned and muttered things like "We have far more serious crimes to investigate than to waste our time on dirty old men who lust after little girls. After all, it's their religion."
Today, law enforcement won't storm the Jeffs compounds for "fear of another Waco." Odd, isn't it? We can raid private homes in Iraq, scaring children, women and good men to death, but we can't get little girls living as sex-slaves on American soil out of the hands of their captors.
It was not concerned efforts by any sheriff's department to locate Jeffs that finally resulted in his arrest. It was a simple pullover stop on a major highway for a minor traffic violation that snared the elusive, self-proclaimed prophet of God.
In 2004, author Jon Krakauer wrote a shocking expose, "Under The Banner of Heaven," on the evil that takes place inside the compounds of The Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints.
Take, for example, the tragic story of little Evangeline. At age 12, and "in God's name," Evangeline's father married her, and deliberately got her pregnant to preserve his "pure sacred seed." He forced himself on her and told her she was going to hell because she was not submissive. "He would throw me on the ground, punch me and cover my mouth when I would try to scream," Evangeline said. When she miscarried his child he took her to Guatemala and abandoned her just short of her 13th birthday.
Evangeline had three younger sisters (birthed by different wives) who were, at that time, moving toward age 12 and who were in the hands of a father determined to preserve his "sacred seed," a father who believed himself to be "a devout member of the one true church, and one of the last prophets before the coming of Christ."
Krakauer's book is gratingly honest, and shocking in its capture of not only the history behind today's reformed Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) but captures the current evil practices of its disowned offspring, The Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints.
What does all that have to do with you as taxpayer?
Whether you know it or not you are helping to fund the rape of little girls; the forced marriages of young girls to middle-age men, and men in their 70s and 80s; the homelessness of teen-age boys who are evicted from the compounds lest they become competition for the young females and the pocket-lining of men who would be arrested as slave holders, child abusers, bigamists and rapists if they lived down the street from you in your town.
Forced by the federal government to abandon their openly polygamist behavior, these "holy" men simply renamed their practice of multiple wives "celestial marriages" - and here is the sheer genius of their outwitting,and exploiting, state and federal laws:
With the exception of the first wife, all women were counted as "single" by state and federal authorities and these "celestial" wives (sometimes as many as 75 wives for one husband) became virtual gold mines of welfare goodies, lining the pockets of these "prophets" of God. Said wives would produce dozens of offspring, beneficiaries of a once-benevolent welfare system strangled today by its own laws.
Let's follow your tax dollar into the pockets of one "man of god," Tom Green.
According to Krakaeur, "Investigators from the Utah attorney general's office have documented that between 1989 and 1999, Tom Green and his dependents received more than $647,000 in state and federal assistance, including $203,000 in food stamps and nearly $300,000 in medical and dental expenses." ("Under The Banner of Heaven," Part II, page 21.)
Green's is not an exceptional case. It's called "milking the beast" by these "holy men" who despise all authority save their own.
Krakauer goes on to compare the women-as-chattel Fundamentalist practices to the radical - and sometimes not so radical - practices of Islam, a religion often referred to by many heads of state including President Bush as a "noble religion."
Study the Koran and decide that one for yourself. I know what I think but I'd have to clean up my language to get it past a couple of newspaper editors.
I highly recommend "Under The Banner of Heaven" to anyone disgusted with state and federal governments' refusal to storm into these compounds of involuntary servitude, forced marriages, forced labor, rape, incest, abuse of state and federal tax dollars. And when you are finished with the book, I hope you will call your state and federal representative and demand to know why we go all over the world telling other nations to clean up their gender and religious inequality when our own back yard smells like a neglected sewer managed "in God's name" by criminals.
AR Correspondent Elizabeth T. Andrews is based in Cartersville, Ga. Her Website features her columns and poetry. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at P.O. Box 816, Cartersville, GA 30120.