thoughts, whims, and delusions of a middle aged mama

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Another Twist in the Rozita Swinton Saga?

Another blog has an interesting post.
This blogger has found what is either an error in the San Angelo Times article of last Sunday, or a whole new twist on the Swinton calls. The article posts a timeline of events, including when the FBI got the phone records. The records the FBI produced showed calls from Swinton going to the NEWBRIDGE shelter starting on the 22ND of March!
The blogger who has written about this has attempted to contact the San Angelo paper to no avail...
Here's the link to the blog...
and a link to the San Angelo Times article

Who's a Mormon?

Okay, this post has nothing to do with the FLDS, or any of the controversies with their community. This is purely to help me in my own quest to understand and learn.

Apparently the series "Big Love" is going to air a segment that has a scene that takes place inside a Mormon Temple, showing an "Endowment Ceremony". This has the LDS Church folks all upset. They say their Temple ceremonies are private, etc. and should not be shown.

But here's my question...all that was just to set the stage, so to speak...
In all of the articles I have seen about this, the LDS Church refers to the fictional family in "Big Love" as "Fundamentalists" but not Mormon.
All through this, as I have been learning, I thought that all of the different Fundamentalist groups, the independent Fundamentalists, and the members of the LDS Church, were all Mormon. Just different sects. Or individual believers without specific affiliation with a sect. But all Mormons. All followers and believers in the faith of Joseph Smith.

Where is my error? How can an enormous group of people who all believe basically the same doctrine not all be Mormons?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Edited Copy of Pliggy's, Now Edited, Blog

There is no need for me to write anything. I am simply copying Pliggy's blog to make sure as many people as possible read this.

Monday, March 9, 2009

How Texas Traced the Calls to Rozita Swinton
It must have been quite the day for ol Brooks Long, that Sunday, April 13th 2008. He had spent a week rounding up “victims” of “abuse” with his army of machine gun toting comrades, and just following orders by taking cell phones away from “guests” and breaking into buildings and confiscating children’s journals and computers, as well as breaking into a sacred Temple building safe and stealing the contents, all in his attempt to find Sarah Jessop Barlow, the victim who made all these desperate phone calls. Certainly he was enjoying his much needed day of rest. He was probably drinking his morning coffee when he realized that something was now troubling him, this tenth day after. Something he just needed to figure out that he had never thought about before.He probably thought along the lines of “Hmm, you know what, maybe those guys at the gate ten days ago might have been on to something. They did prove to my buddy Doran that Dale Evens Barlow was a long ways away, but I didn’t want to stop this wonderful force that George Bush would be proud of from invading the “dirty plig” paramilitary compound. So when they said we aught to check the phone number and trace it, they might have been on to something. But I certainly don’t want to give them credit. They are the bad guys”So he called up a perfect stranger in the Colorado Springs Police Department and asks him about it. Yes, it was no strange thing that he called the police department rather than the phone company; that is how all phone numbers are tracked down I am sure. If you want to know who is calling you on your phone, just call the police department of the area code on your phone silly.It was all only a coincidence that he just happened to speak to the very guy who knew about a crime using the exact phone number he gave him too. That is just fantastic, this guy he calls on Sunday the 13th actually recognizes one of the phone numbers, wow!It was a phone number that he was sure had been blocked ten days ago, but realized just that day, the 13th of April that it never had been blocked. It was just another fantastic coincidence that he was able to reach Sean on Sunday, as Sergeant Mandel was not even working out of the CSPD office, he was working for the FBI and was not associated with the rest of the force. But it was a coincidence for sure, for sure. Why would you doubt that?Well this was great, Long discovers that what the men at the gate of the YFZ ranch said was exactly right, the phone call was a hoax, ruining all he was hoping was true about the raid. But being the honorable Ranger he is, he asks CSPD to arrest this woman named Rozita Swinton so they could pretend to begin an investigation, certainly now on the 13th she was a person of interest, having the same phone number and all. So Long speaks to Mandel and he tells his coworker that he doesn’t work with, Sergeant Hugh Velasquez in the sex crimes department, and Velasquez passes the info on to Detective Terry Thurmston, all on Sunday, the 13th of April. Certainly this is standard procedure. Thurmston goes the next day, on Monday the 14th, calls Brooks and verifies Swintons phone number ect, and arranges for the arrest warrant. Which they serve two days later when a couple of the Texas Rangers fly in.Move along folks, nothing to see here…From the Affidavit in the arrest Warrant for Rozita Swinton:"On April 13, 2008, I [CSPD Detective Terry E. Thurmston] was contacted by [CSPD sex crimes division]Sergeant Hugh Velasquez (1514D) regarding information he had obtained from [CSPD, FBI task force] Sergeant Sean Mandel. Sergeant Mandel told Sergeant Velasquez he had been contacted by the Texas Rangers in regard to their investigation into the Yearning for Zion (YFZ) Ranch. Sergeant Mandel related Texas Ranger Brooks Long had advised he had two cellular telephone number listings from the Colorado Springs area (719-351-0913 and 719-243-2866). Sergeant Mandel was aware that the phone number, 719-351-0913, that was possibly related to the reporting party for the YFZ Ranch incident in Eldorado, Texas, was also identified in a prior CSPD case report.“On April 14, 2008 I [CSPD Detective Terry E. Thurmston] spoke with Texas Ranger Long and confirmed telephone number 719-351-0913 was in fact a local Colorado Springs telephone number associated with Rozita Swinton. I informed Ranger Long that Rozita Swinton was known to make false reports of sexual abuse to the police and other agencies. The Texas Rangers advised they would be responding to Colorado Springs to conduct further investigation.”P.S.The “only” [cough, cough] problem with our story, is Hugh McBryde spoke personally with Sergeant Sean Mandel, and Sean told him that he had never even spoken to Brooks Long at all, but rather he was contacted by his boss at the FBI in Colorado, Steven A Smith, who had been contacted by an FBI agent out of San Angelo TX. Hugh also spoke to Steven A. Smith, who did not know the name of the FBI agent he spoke to and couldnt pin a date, the dates too are uncertain as to when they were contacted he says and he did not open a case when he gave the assignment to Sean. Certainly the Rangers hadn't found this out earlier, certainly it was all done in the short time of one or two days. Certainly it wasn’t early enough for them to stop the raid. And Certainly this was not a manufactured story to cover up the fact that Texas ALREADY knew it was Rozita, as much as a ten days earlier right?Right?Right?
Posted by Pliggy at 11:53 PM 0 comments
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FLDS: Persecution or Persecution Complex?

Persecution Complex:
An unfounded feeling that others have evil designs against one's well-being.
Others have evil designs against one’s well-being.

Lot’s of people do not like the FLDS.
Well, that’s a pretty benign statement, unless, of course, you happen to be an FLDS member. The closer you get, geographically, to the FLDS, the more overt the dislike becomes.
If you’re a waitress, you take a bit longer to give slightly less service. If you’re a cop, you write a ticket instead of give a warning. If you’re in the area, you drive through town staring. If you’re a clerk in the municipal building, you make them wait just a tad longer…for everything. If you’re a school child, you call them “dirty plygs”.
And worse.
If you are an FLDS mother, you teach your children that it is important to love everyone, all the while shielding them from the stares of strangers. Rushing them inside when a car drives by a bit too slowly. Quickly diverting their attention when a scantily clad woman enters the store you’re in. Teaching them to say their brother is their cousin when they go to school, knowing if they say otherwise, they will be mocked and bullied.
If you’re a young person in the FLDS it makes the job of loving everyone terribly hard. And terribly inconsistent with your experiences. It makes the job of trusting anyone outside of your community a monumental task.

If the entire history of the Mormon people is full of legitimate stories of Mormons being persecuted, and if much of the persecution has taken place in the lifetimes of people you know and love, it serves only to compound the distrust.
If every time you open a newspaper or listen to the radio, there are reports of people you know, and love, being described as despicable criminals, it makes it both terribly confusing and terribly hurtful.

If this has been a person’s life experience, and now, suddenly, they are being asked to interact with outsiders, it is understandable that there is very real apprehension. That the distrust is natural and real, and founded in having been hurt and watching loved ones be hurt.
Compound this with having lived in a relatively closed community with a subtle yet important difference in language and its use, from mainstream society. Understand that the outside world uses language in ways that are completely alien to the FLDS’ entire experience, and there is no guide book to teach about it. Imagine that sarcasm and innuendo and double entendres are not a part of someone’s experience, and they have to come into our world and navigate without understanding these common twists in how we use everyday language. Understand that those permutations of language have either never been there, or have slowly devolved as individuals have, in following their teachings, worked harder and harder at being straight forward, saying what they mean, and not involving themselves in duplicitous everyday behaviors, so there is no need to have a language system reflective of that. That even humor is straightforward, clean, and not made at the expense of another in demeaning ways.

So now you have people who have lived their entire lives knowing they were generally disliked and/or grossly misunderstood by the outside world. They have individually all experienced that dislike in their interactions with outsiders. Some more than others, but it is inescapable, all together. And these same people now find themselves in a situation where they are choosing to interact in order to help change this paradigm. So they do little things like come on-line to the blogosphere to ask questions of some, and give answers to others. Navigating in a world of language.
Navigating in a world where they are outnumbered by their detractors by an enormous margin. Challenged to try to help shift the thinking of their detractors, using language. Detractors who have themselves used ugly language directed at them.

Those that interact more, obviously begin to pick up on the nuances faster. After awhile, they “get it”, for the most part. And they begin to use language in the same way. However, because we don’t ever, on either side, really acknowledge or understand, this language barrier, it is easy for mistakes to happen. It is easy for perceptions to be different than the writer intended. It is easy to react to what we think we are reading, based on our personal understanding of the language, all the while being completely wrong.

This perception/understanding dilemma is part of the downside of blogging for everyone. It is enormously compounded for people, like members of the FLDS community, who have unacknowledged cultural differences in language from the larger community of outsiders they are interacting with.
In a multi-dimensional interaction these differences would be far more quickly overcome. In the blogosphere that doesn’t happen so easily.
Rather than accuse members of the FLDS community of having persecution complexes, or getting angry at how they respond to what we are saying, and how we are saying ‘it’, perhaps we can each try to better understand the FLDS perspective and experience. If based on a person’s response, we know they have misunderstood our intent, perhaps it would further good communication, and foster a possible trust, to simply re-explain what we are trying to convey. If we are being humorous, using sarcasm, and it is not picked up, explain it. Don’t react to the reaction!

We can each only be responsible for our own behaviors. Even here, on line. But if our real purpose is to help reshape how we understand and interact with the FLDS community, then an excellent starting point is in understanding and overcoming language barriers. Let this be an experience that is a learning one for all of us.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Interesting Move From Judge Conn on Jeffs' Motion. Is it Kosher?

The Deseret News reported this afternoon that Judge Conn has decided to wait until after the Texas Court rules on the admissibility of items seized in the April YfZ raid before his ruling.
Deseret News article
The hearing challenging the warrants is scheduled in May in Judge Walther's Court.

I keep thinking there is some conflict in having the issuing judge be the judge to decide on the admissibility of the warrants. Seems like just a tad bit of a conflict, to me. I'm not familiar with the Texas system, but here in Pa., I'd petition the President Judge to assign the hearing to another judge who was not involved in the issuing stage of the warrant(s).

I'm also wondering what happens iof this Texas judge admits the evidence and there is a conviction, that is not upheld on appeal, what happens to anything that has gone forward in Arizona?
I'm also wondering if this is going to open a nasty can of worms in the Arizona Court? Will the state's attorneys now use "evidence" they otherwise would not have?

What does this decision to delay do to Jeffs' right to a speedy trial? Is this an undue delay?

Can a state trial court judge decide to defer to a ruling from the equivalent judiciary level ruling in another state?

How Do People Percieve the Dress of the FLDS?

I often see the dresses of the FLDS women referred to in negative ways.
Most people identify the dress of the Amish and their horse and buggies as quaint.

What's the difference?...not the doctrinal difference...but the perceptions?

Meet Molly, Our Newest Family Member

I wrote, not long ago, about my beautiful Becka going to the Rainbow Bridge. I miss Becka everyday. She was my wonderful companion and friend. Through Becka, I came to love the large hounds. So..

In the spirit of Becka, we have adopted Molly.

Here she is on the grooming table, about to get her nails done for the first time and she's none too sure she likes this experience....

Molly is a sweet, gentle, Black and Tan Coon Hound. She's six months old and already had a really crappy life.

Molly and her mother and four litter mates were abandoned and left to starve in West Virginia. When they were found, they were all near death. They went to a foster home in Florida where they were not properly cared for and ended up even sicker. As soon as the rescue organization learned of this, they were moved to a foster home in Virginia. From there, Molly was adopted by a young lady in New Jersey. This young lady really loved Molly, but she is a college student, constantly on the go, and she also couldn't properly care for Molly. So now we have her.

We got her a couple of weeks ago, and have completely fallen in love with her. She is wonderful!

She gets along well with Katie and Jake, our other dogs...and so far, the cats haven't swiped her very inquisitive nose....

Friday, March 06, 2009

Brooke and the Trib Have Sprinkled Salt in the Wounds of the FLDS

Brooke Adam's article on the front page of yesterday's Salt Lake Tribune may have been seen as fair and newsworthy by many, but for the FLDS community, it served no purpose save to rip the scab off a wound barely starting to heal, and pour salt directly on it.
While Brooke's note of explanation, and acknowledgement of the feelings of the community, that she posted on her blog is appreciated, it does little to assuage the terrific hurt felt by those who love Warren Jeffs. Perhaps this is the nature of being a reporter in the "big leagues".

Here is Brooke's blog post:
(I don't know why, but I can't get it to show as a link. You'll have to cut and paste. Sorry.)

These words, written in a short note I received early yesterday begins to capture the general sentiment in the community;
"I didn't read the article, just the first couple lines and didn't want to read more. How can someone see such a different man in him than how I see him? He doesn't control me, he never has. He has, however, given me sweet and sound advice from time to time and if I chose to follow it, I do. How do Brooke and others think the flds have stood strong....and true.... lo these many years, but for the teachings and examples of the Prophets?"

I communicate, back and forth, with half a dozen or so women in the FLDS community, and these were the same kinds of words I heard all day, yesterday. As word of the article spread, so did the renewed anger and hurt.
For these people, the steadfast followers of Warren Jeffs the Prophet of the FLDS Faith, there is no need or desire to read his private writings. There is no need or desire to know his private thoughts or his business dealings on their behalf.
Their individual, and group, experiences with Warren Jeffs are the foundation for their abiding faith in his position as their Prophet. From that perspective they have experienced a gentle man. They have experienced a man who has given good, sound, caring advice to them. He is a man who has been humble in his carriage, calm in his approach to crisis and hardships, and giving of his time and belongings to those in need. He has had the capacity to draw people together, convey and teach the messages of God, and model the behavior of the righteous.

Each and every person knows full well Warren Jeffs is human. Each person knows that as a fellow human being he will sometimes falter. He will sometimes make mistakes. He will sometimes experience all of the frailties inherent in the human condition. This is the nature of a Prophet on this earth. To walk amongst us, with us, and be of us, the people. Some will recognize him as a Prophet of God. Some will not. Some will deny him. Some will accept him. And for those who accept him as their Prophet, there is no need to know the mundane or the earthly aspects of his person. There is the need to accept him as their guide to living a life of righteousness that will bring them closer to God, and the rewards of the afterlife.

To see his private thoughts, and the private interactions he had with their friends, family members, and fellow members of the faithful being picked over like the carcass of a jack rabbit who has died in the desert is extraordinarily painful. This picking and pandering does nothing but solidify their faith that this man is the true Prophet in their lives. That he, his life, and his loved ones, would be so subjected is yet another of the many trials that his faithful know God will bring before Zion is achieved. So they will bear this quietly, and with dignity.

But for those of us who have come to know and respect many of the individuals in this community, standing quietly by is not an option.
We each feel the need to speak out and tell you, our fellow gentiles and outsiders, that this salacious picking and devouring and souring of the private words of a respected and loved religious leader is ugly, demeaning , and speaks to our basest inclinations.

Rather than sit in judgment of a people who have made a choice each of us has not, and perhaps would not, make, we each need to understand that the faith of the FLDS community is so strong, and the fundamentals of their teachings so adamant about love and forgiveness as their constant guidance, that we need to respect that. We need to respect the fact that they are intelligent people. They have not been led blindly. They have made a choice to put their lives in the hands of God. If errors or mistakes have been made, they will work to correct them, strong in their faith that God, through the act of inspiring their leaders and Prophet, will show them the way to Him. That if God is paving the way for change in their community, it will be because He has inspired it. Not because anyone in the outside world has demanded it.

Irrespective of the opinions or writings of anyone outside the faithful, the FLDS will continue to love and respect a man that has constantly, and consistently, guided them in their journey toward Him. And irrespective of what any outsider, including Brooke Adams, says about their "intent", the faithful will shun all attempts to take them down a path that is not righteous. And that includes all attempts to demean their faith in, and respect for, Warren Jeffs as their Prophet and guide through their earthly journey.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Dancin' a Little Dance...Over the FLDS /YfZ Search Warrants

I'm rarely a braggart. I toot my own horn, from time to time, especially if someone challenges my credentials, but I'm generally pretty low least in that regard...
But I'm feeling a little like dancing a tiny bit of a jig, here...
In today's gosanangelo there's an article about the ongoing challenge to the validity of the warrants executed at the YfZ Ranch back in April...
The warrants that allowed every one's lives to be turned upside down and resulted in all the terrible things we are all too familiar with...
Anyway, here's the link to the article,

Now, the reason I want to do my little jig is that Charles P. Bubany, adjunct professor of law at Texas Tech University and an expert in state criminal procedure, says that ultimately, the deciding issue is whether the rangers and other law enforcement involved did due diligence in establishing the veracity of the complainant...of establishing that "Sarah" existed....
And that is exactly what I have been saying since last April!!!!
I'm feeling just a little bit vindicated since Blues and Ron and just about everyone else said my assessment was so wrong!!!
I kept saying that the linchpin was going to be that they had ample time to verify the caller and failed to produce even the most rudimentary effort. They did not trace the calls, they did not attempt to contact any of the leadership at the ranch....and they waited five days!

So, this old grandma is up here in Pa. dancing a little dance.....

Defining Decency, Happiness, and Success; Cultural Differences in the FLDS

To be a decent person. To be happy. Those are the two main things most people say when asked what they want for their child.
We then proceed to raise our children in such a way that constantly challenges the possibility of those two elements, at every juncture of our society. For better or worse, we raise our children to measure decency and happiness by standards of a world of consumerism run amok and competition built into every aspect of living. Double standards, duplicity, and deceit are so much a part of our daily lives we have lost all awareness of there existence and the insidious nature of how they erode the soul.

What most people really want for their children is for them to be successful in their own world. If they can eke out some happiness, and also manage to be reasonably decent in the doing, those are bonuses, but not requisites. So we raise our children with the tools and expectations of success. And those tools become paramount. Whether we mask them with other names or not is irrelevant. They are the tools for success in the world the parent identifies with. Everything from how we dress to how we look at sexuality to what classes we take and what sports we enjoy. We shape and mold our children in the image we want, or wanted, for ourselves.

Although physically located dead in the middle of America, the FLDS have maintained a culture that has not evolved in the same way as the rest of us. When they state a desire to raise their children as decent people, with the hope that they are happy it is a literal statement. It is unencumbered by the accoutrements of gearing for success in today’s larger world. That is an entirely foreign concept for most of us. We hear and interpret their words with our filters. We interpret what we hear with our subliminal understanding of what something means, and our own standards firmly in place in our thinking. Because the words are the same, we cannot seem to set aside our meaning for those words.

To the FLDS parent, there is a fundamental and unquestionable belief that with decency and happiness comes success. Not the other way around. If you are decent you will be happy. If you are happy, you will be successful. And all three words are defined very differently for everyday life than we commonly define them;
Decent = learning, understanding, believing, and following God’s word. Living in righteousness. Being kind, fair, loving, generous, non-judgmental, and all of the things knowing God’s word commands.
Happiness = The knowledge that you dedicate every day to achieving being a decent person. It allows you, no matter how difficult the work has been, to feel good. To feel your spirit fill with happiness.
Success = Walking in righteousness, that has come from working hard, everyday to live decently. And understanding that it is lifelong work to remain successful.

To begin to understand the FLDS culture, you have to shed away all your built in beliefs of what those three words mean and see them as defined this way. And see them as the primary guidance that each and every member of the FLDS community lives and measures their life by. Not by possessions, money, social standing, career choice, or anything else. And it is by these definitions their children are raised.

I want to share this beautiful, short video with everyone, if the link posts properly...

Amazing grace in Rome

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

FLDS and the Amish, So Similar, So Different

I live in Pa. Home of the Eagles and the Steelers and the "Pennsylvania Dutch" and the Amish community in Lancaster County.
Often in the discussions about the FLDS community, I see parallels drawn to the Old Order Amish Communities across the country. And, there are many legitimate parallels to be drawn.
They are both relatively closed communities. They both have a dress code that stands out. They have both shunned many of the typical amenities of modern life. Both groups are known for being hard working, industrious people. Both groups have very strong patriarchal cultures. Both groups have very strict religious tenets and expectations of their followers. Both groups work toward self sufficiency.
The similarities go on and on....

I want to talk about one stark difference that came to my attention recently.

Lancaster County, and the surrounding area, is a hub of tourism. Particularly in the nicer weather months. It is rolling hills and family farms and small hamlets and towns. It is green and lush and dotted with old covered bridges. Horses and buggies from the Amish Community are regularly seen on the roads and in parking lots. Tourists are often family groups, full of happy children and smiling adults, out for a day in the country. There are many Amish and Mennonite run businesses, and Amish farms are easy to spot with their big windmills, and absence of electrical wires and cables going to their homes and barns.
At the big 'farmers market' and large flea markets, there are many Amish vendors and the tourists flock to them, happy to say hello and stare in a mix of curiosity and friendliness at the old fashioned clothing. They ask questions, full of admiration, about the 'simpler way of life'. There is no animosity.
There is a working replica of an Amish farm that tourists flock to and love. They treat the rooms and property with a great deal of respect. There is a waiting list to be allowed to be a volunteer helping with the care and maintenance of the farm.

Yesterday I had a note from a friend of mine who lives in the twin towns. In "Shortcreek". She was telling me how nice the spring weather they are having is. How all of the children have "Spring Fever". She was telling me about the big, tall, beautiful, but prickly, flowers she is planting all along the front of her yard. She told me they will help hide the fence and give better cover for her children from the staring eyes of the angry, hostile strangers that drive through their hometown.

It struck me square between the eyes and deep into my heart, that the comparison to the Amish had a very stark ending.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

FLDS, DNA, CPS, Babies, Who's the Victim?

I had wanted to keep this blog limited to discussing specific aspects of life in the FLDS communities that have been misunderstood, or sensationalized by mainstream media. However, this "situation" has made it's way into the news in the last two days and it has me terribly confused. So I thought I'd reach out here for a little clarity.

Let me lay out what I understand to be "the facts", first;

1. Last April, when the children were taken from YfZ Ranch, this particular young lady was sixteen, almost 17 years old. (Her birthday is in August)
2. She was pregnant. Her baby was born, full term, (no one has said otherwise), in June.
3. The mother retained custody of the baby and they were released together with all of the other children.
4. So, since no one knows the precise length of gestation for this particular baby, it is a fair assumption that she became pregnant right around the time she turned 16.
5. Legal custody of this young lady has been retained by Texas CPS since last April.
6. I haven't seen a reason stated for having retained custody, although I am guessing it s because of her age when she got pregnant. CPS is probably making a claim that her parents failed to protect her.
7. CPS is alleging, apparently based on information from the "Bishop's list", that she was "married" at age 14.
8. The baby that was born has never been alleged to be a 'victim'. CPS did not retain custody of the baby. Since they publicly acknowledge having non-suited all but two of the children, including this young lady, and we know Merrianne is the other, there is no CPS involvement with the baby.
9. There is no basis for them getting involved. There has been no accusation of abuse or neglect. There has been no witnessing of abuse or neglect.
10. CPS retaining legal custody of this young lady is based on her alleged 'victim' status and the alleged inability of her parents to protect her. The baby's well being has never been an issue. Decisions this young lady chooses to make about, or for, her baby has never been the subject of CPS involvement.

So this is where I get confused. CPS want the DNA from the baby to use, potentially, as evidence that a crime has occurred. The mother of the baby refuses to allow CPS to have anything to do with her baby. There are no complaints or allegations concerning this baby's well being that would trigger an investigation. So now they are "creating" a need to investigate, based on them having not had access to the baby.
If a child welfare worker finds out that a young lady in a public high school, who is sixteen, years old, has a baby, and the worker is told the baby's father is much older than the mother, and there are no other complaints, no allegations of mistreatment or neglect, that worker does not have the right to demand to a. see the baby, and b. take a sample of the baby's DNA, for any purpose.
So where is their right to do this with this baby? How do they make the leap that says that not only is their concern and involvement based on the age, and alleged marital status of the young lady, but it now extends to the baby, shifting the mother from 'victim', to potential perpetrator, or 'abusive or neglectful parent'?
Then, because of the reasonable fear this young mother has, based on her own experiences, she defies CPS, and refuses them involvement in her baby's life, they somehow use this refusal as 'prima facia' evidence of neglect?
And they are still hell-bent on collecting DNA, which I can't figure out how they have a right to?

If, as a parent, I choose to allow one of my children to live with a responsible friend or relative, for whatever reasons, which are mine, and mine alone, I have a right to do so. I can send my child to live in Hong Kong or Istanbul, as long as the people I am giving permission to care for my child are responsible adults and are willing to provide parental care in my stead. The state has no jurisdiction in this private matter. Perhaps I am not capable of caring for my child. I have then made a reasonable alternative choice. It is my right to make that decision for my child.
The state only has the right to step in and investigate when there is an allegation that my child is being abused or neglected as a result of my parenting, or my allowing other circumstances to put my child at risk.

Now, I agree, the ruse of taking in another child for DNA testing was pretty silly, however, it is also, from the perspective of a young mother who herself was mistreated at the hands of CPS, a reasonable response to enormous fear. Perhaps the court needs to take a compassionate view of this young mother. Perhaps the court needs to recognize that, indeed, this young mother is a victim. Not of her lifestyle and community, but rather, of the system that invaded her life.

So, we have a young woman, who is under CPS supervision based on alleged actions of her parents, who has a baby, that is not under CPS care or supervision, that CPS wants to take DNA from, based on a 'suspicion', and the mother doesn't want to allow DNA to b taken, and has voluntarily, perhaps, which is her right, placed her child with a trusted adult for care, and now the court is being asked to evaluate the mental health of the young woman to determine if she is a fit mother?
None of this makes any sense!!!!!!

I've linked the article from 'gosanangelo' below...but it doesn't unmuddy the waters, either...I am really confused!!!!
If anyone can offer any clarity, I would greatly appreciate it!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Brooke Adams, The Plural Life, and the FLDS Community

Okay. I've had a gazillion emails about this. I've read about it. I've blogged about it. Mary Batchlor has gotten hammered about it. Bill Medvecky hammers about it.
As Mary Batchlor did last night, I am going to say my piece and then that's it.

Most of us have read reams and reams of reports and news articles about the FLDS, and their detractors. And Brooke has always been the blog author and reporter we have 'come back to'. Now that I have stopped posting on her site, and have a little distance, I have realized the reason I always gravitate back to Brooke, it is her lack of bias.
Even with the Jeffs' dictations, she did not publish them. She did not link to them. She took out small portions that directly related to topics she had written on in the past, and used the dictation information to "fill in the blanks".
As wrong as the release of the dictations was, and as personally offensive as their release is to the FLDS community, they were released, and they are part of the public collection of documents and information. They are newsworthy from that perspective.
Each of us has to decide for ourselves whether to read them, or not. Each reporter has to decide to what extent they will use, or post them.
Brooke doesn't write to make anyone happy. She doesn't write to make friends, or enemies. She writes the truth, as best as she can glean it from everything that is out there. She does her best to also write the "back story" on her blog about many of the aspects of this mess that make the news. For many of us she gave the FLDS community a personal face when all the rest of mainstream media made the community out to be a collection of robots in prairie dresses and blue jeans.
I am sorry she didn't write anything publicly about the angers and hurts that the papers' release has caused in the FLDS community. On the other hand, I don't get to tell Brooke, or anyone else what to write. And also on the other hand, she has been quite judicious in her use of the papers.

No one is going to be happy with everything she writes. This story is so big, and has so many twists and turns, she is going to displease everyone at one time or another....but for me, I'm glad there is a Brooke Adams writing. I'd hate to leave the telling to the Watkiss ilk....
Now this doesn't herald a return to her blog, for me...I will go and read the posts...probably not the comments...
Because as much as I have calmed down toward Brooke...and realized how much I value reading her "take" on things...I really, really dislike the nastiness and ugliness of the new 'regulars' on her I'll steer clear, thank you very much!

About Me

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First I am a mother, and grandmother....that is probably the single most important aspect of my life. Then I am a family advocate for a large, national advocacy organization. I work primarily in "systems advocay", helping to identify needs and change policies in children's behavioral health. And I love my dogs, my garden, my pond and fish, and trashy murder mysteries and the occasional shot of good scotch.... Fell free to post a note in whatever the most recent entry is...I love meeting new people!

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