Getting Out : Creeps
Warren Jeffs another creep from the Mormons
from Phoenixkidd - Thursday, August 04, 2005
accessed 4752 times
Warren Jeffs, A cult leader on the run.
Hi, my movingon family! This article taken from a local newspaper, elaborates on the changes happening to a cultish sect of the Mormons in Colorado City, AZ. This area along the Utah / Arizona Border is notorious for it's cult following of Warren Jeffs, self-ordained minister of the mormon church. He has condoned Adult / child marriage, and expulsion of young males from the cult so that those who remain can procreate with young second generation women. He is now on the lam from the FBI and his cult seems to be moving to Texas.
Here's the link and story
Polygamist enclave changes emerge
New business, relaxed rules take hold amid board wrangling
Republic Flagstaff Bureau
Aug. 4, 2005 12:00 AM
COLORADO CITY - The change is coming slowly, like the tiny twigs of sand sagebrush breaking through the bright-red, high-desert soil.
Laura Timpson recently opened a beauty salon and tanning parlor in this frontier, polygamist town, where women traditionally have not cut their hair, and both men and women are clothed from wrist to ankle.
Colorado City's insular high school put a basketball team on the court for the first time last season, and it played nearby communities Fredonia and Littlefield, and Hurricane, Utah.
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The next business planned for Colorado City's frontage along Arizona 389 is a bakery with pastries and fancy coffee. One local resident is even pondering opening a bed-and-breakfast with a polygamy theme.
But beyond these signs, there is a more long-lasting move toward changing the culture in Colorado City and neighboring Hildale, Utah, the largest polygamist community in the country: A hearing is scheduled today in Salt Lake City before Utah District Judge Denise Lindberg to pick a new board to be in charge of virtually all the financial decisions regarding the land, homes and businesses of the two towns.
About 25 people have been nominated for the communal United Effort Plan board, which controls most assets in the two towns. But more than 200 pages of objections in court records have been filed against virtually all the nominees, and officials in both states will seek to delay appointment of the new board.
Federal manhunt While change to the towns' way of life is pursued in court, the search continues for the fugitive leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Warren Jeffs, 49, has been on the run since June from state and federal officers after being indicted on sexual-misconduct charges for marrying an underage girl to a polygamist patriarch. Eight local men surrendered to authorities last month after being indicted on sexual-misconduct charges involving underage girls.
Authorities want to keep Jeffs away and out of contact with residents of the two towns, where an estimated three-quarters of the FLDS members remain loyal to him. The FLDS is not affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Joseph Allred, Colorado City's town clerk and a member of the FLDS, declined to be interviewed about the town's future, saying he could talk only about town-management issues.
Rod Parker, a Salt Lake City attorney who formerly represented the sect, did not return telephone calls. No other current FLDS members would agree to be interviewed about the sect's future.
Hope and concern A new board, new businesses, relaxed rules and the hunt for Jeffs are encouraging, according to law enforcement officers and some residents and former residents.
But they say they still are concerned about what will happen to the 6,000 people remaining in the two towns as they make a hoped-for leap from frontier multiple-marriage dogma into the modern world.
Even with the moves in court, there are some indications that a large-scale exodus from the two towns could be happening, primarily to nearly 3 square miles of land the sect bought near Eldorado, Texas, and where a four-story temple has been built.
Mohave County School Superintendent Mike File said he believes at least half of the children have been taken out of Colorado City.
"There's been a major shakedown with a lot of people sacking up and running," said Deloy Bateman, a Colorado City schoolteacher.
Adding to the evidence of wholesale departures, Mohave County investigator Gary Engels said, a barn where potatoes were processed had its equipment disassembled and moved out in May. He does not know where it was taken.
A dairy on adjoining property has only one-third to one-half of the cattle it had a year ago, he said. But again, he does not know where the cattle went.
South of Arizona 389, on the way to the Colorado City airport, is the site of a former longtime chicken plant, which Engels said he believes was moved to Texas last year.
Services shut down There are other signs that there is less interest on the part of the sect in keeping the towns vital, at least as they have been in the past.
For example, the Twin City power plant in Colorado City, citing the cost of fuel and reportedly $20 million in debt, closed on July 1.
"A main line between Hurricane and St. George (both in Utah) went down last winter for three or four days, and our plant was the backup," Allred said. "Now, we don't have that anymore."
Only about half of a nearby 200-acre hay field is in production because of irrigation equipment that broke down, Engels said.
In neighboring Hildale, the Town Hall had open doors on three business days in late June but no one manning work stations, an indication that the town is not operating at full speed.
Leadership question Meanwhile, Jeffs, who has not been seen publicly for more than two years, is believed by authorities to have quickly left the FLDS' Texas land after getting word of the indictment. He was identified as having been in Canada in mid-June.
If Jeffs is gone for good, there is no certainty whether someone could or would take his place or who that would be.
Names mentioned as possible successors include Sam Barlow, a former town marshal; Winston Blackmore, leader of the FLDS sect in Bountiful, British Columbia; and William Timpson, who was selected as the local bishop by Jeffs after the death of longtime bishop Fred Jessop earlier this year.
Many worry that a new polygamy prophet will take charge and the public clamor will be to retain the UEP. Jeffs and four of his most devout followers were stripped from the UEP board of trustees in June.
Another potential issue is that if the trust is eventually broken up and the assets divided among sect members, how will the new stakeholders be determined?
And there is concern about how a new board that includes escaped polygamist wives, current polygamists, men forced out of town by those polygamists and outsiders with a vested interest in the towns, will be able to agree on the towns' futures.
Lori Chatwin, a longtime Colorado City resident, said a new board needs to act slowly.
"If (board members) give them deeds to their homes too quickly, they will sell, take the money and go running right back to Warren," she said. "I mean, this is the third or fourth generation of people who haven't owned anything, and they need to be educated.
"(Board members) also need to put stipulations on what they (residents) can and can't do with the property, at least for now. This is a process that might take 10 to 15 years."
Andrea Esquer, a spokeswoman for Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, said Wednesday that both Goddard and the office of Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff agree that composition of the board is important.
"We think it would behoove the court to take its time and to look more into the background of each nominee so we can understand better who the applicants are and reach some kind of consensus," Esquer said.
Young peoples' future But the biggest problem of all may be the future of the towns' young people.
Law enforcement officers wonder how parents of more than 1,000 students who were ordered into sect religious indoctrination home-schooling by Jeffs five years ago can be persuaded to return their children to public schools or legitimate alternatives.
Bateman, the Colorado City teacher, said that all the children who have been home-schooled have learned only to read and write and memorize Scripture.
"There has to be a requirement that those kids go back to school. If the kids come home with information, the parents will change, also," Bateman said
Ross Chatwin, Lori Chatwin's husband who had a falling out with Jeffs and was ordered to leave his home, said the school is the key to normalizing the society, and the basketball team was a good start.
"They are going to have to put in social activities, things like dances, at school where boys and girls can have normal relations," Chatwin said. "Most of the young people don't even know why they are alive now. Warren has impressed on the boys and girls that they can't even look at each other because the girls were getting ready for celestial marriage."
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|from Different Orchestra, Same Tune|
Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - 13:18
New York Times, October 25, 2005
Polygamous Community Defies State Crackdown
By TIMOTHY EGAN
COLORADO CITY, Ariz., Oct. 19 - One year ago, Arizona authorities set up shop in a double-wide trailer here at the edge of the nation's largest polygamous community, trying to bring at least a semblance of secular law to an American small town like no other.
Theirs was the first independent government presence in half a century at this settlement straddling the Arizona-Utah border, a place frozen in a 19th-century frontier theocracy inspired by the early Mormon Church.
But the twin towns of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah, continue to defy the law, the authorities and dissidents say: under the direction of leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, women are still being removed from their husbands and assigned to other men, and girls under 18 are ordered to become brides of older men on a day's notice, all despite the presence of full-time outside law enforcement.
DeLoy Bateman, a high school science teacher here who left the church several years ago, says his daughter's marriage was recently broken up by church leaders. She was ordered to become the bride of her father-in-law, a man twice her age, Mr. Bateman says.
"This just makes me want to cry," said Mr. Bateman, a lifelong resident of Colorado City. "They tore up this marriage and ordered her to have sex with this older man. I've lost my daughter and her children to this church. I have to stand outside on the sidewalk and beg if I want to see my grandchildren."
Other residents and investigators tell similar stories about the church, which continues operating under the direction of its absolute leader, Warren Jeffs, in spite of his being one of the country's most-wanted fugitives, indicted on sexual abuse charges along with eight of his chief followers.
"It's just like the mob," said Gary Engels, a former police detective who has been retained by county officials to investigate child abuse accusations here. "The church is able to keep iron-fisted control even though the top leaders are fugitives."
Church leaders - and officials of the mayor's office, the Police Department and the school board, all of whom are followers - declined to be interviewed. The police, as well as church body guards in white pickup trucks, followed a visiting reporter and a photographer around town for several days.
Members of the sect say they are the true followers of Joseph Smith, who founded Mormonism 175 years ago. About a third of the residents are on food stamps, and the welfare rate is one of the highest in the West. The followers, who account for most of the twin towns' 8,000 people, justify taking public money with a term used by Smith's own followers: "bleeding the beast" - that is, taking from a government under which the early Mormons were often persecuted.
Until a few months ago, the church leaders also controlled this community's biggest asset: a trust owning all the land in the two towns and the surrounding area, worth upward of $150 million. But in response to a state lawsuit, a court froze the trust in June, and all trustees linked to Mr. Jeffs were removed. The court has yet to decide who will control the trust.
Mr. Jeffs, whose whereabouts is unknown, no longer defends himself in any legal proceeding and has ordered his followers to do the same, state officials say. The sexual abuse charges on which he was indicted in June maintain that he forced a 16-year-old girl to marry a 28-year-old married man.
Mr. Jeffs, age 45, has as many as 70 wives, people who have left the church say. He teaches that a man cannot get to heaven unless he has at least three wives. And because there are not enough women to meet the demands of men who want eternal life, brides are constantly being reassigned.
"Just yesterday I got word of one of my students who had stopped attending classes: she has been pulled away from her husband and assigned to another man," said Carolyn Hamblin, a counselor and assistant dean at the Colorado City branch of Mohave Community College.
"It just breaks my heart," said Ms. Hamblin, a follower of the mainstream Mormon faith, which renounced polygamy in 1890 as a condition of Utah's statehood.
The community that Mr. Jeffs continues to rule though absent lies in one of the country's most remote areas, about 100 miles north of the Grand Canyon. The settlement has become more desolate-looking in recent years. Most of the handful of church-run businesses have closed, the residents seeking work elsewhere. Some houses are boarded up. The streets are deep in red mud. As many as 500 people have left the community, townspeople say, to live at a new church compound in the town of Eldorado in West Texas. Like so many other decisions, the selection of those who can join that compound is up to Mr. Jeffs.
"He has a cellphone, he has a couple of key cronies, and he uses all the government positions in town to enforce his will," said Ross Chatwin, who sued the church after it tried to reassign his wife and children and ordered him to leave town.
Although the church still owns all the towns' property, Mr. Chatwin won the right to stay in the house where he and his family lived. He and his wife, Lori, are among a small group of active dissidents who remain here, and want to see the community stay together in some form.
The Arizona attorney general, Terry Goddard, whose own office is already active here, has asked the Justice Department to investigate the local police, saying they "seem to be aiding and abetting" criminal behavior by discouraging witnesses in sexual abuse cases from testifying; a third of the force has been decertified by Utah and Arizona for criminal conduct.
In a recent letter to the United States attorney general, Alberto R. Gonzales, Mr. Goddard wrote, "I believe that the officers of the Colorado City Police Department have engaged in a pattern of conduct that deprives individuals of their constitutional and civil rights."
The Justice Department has not decided whether to intervene.
Mr. Goddard has also moved to put the school district in receivership. Five years ago, church leaders ordered all families to withdraw their children from the one big public school here, kindergarten through high school, in favor of home schooling or church schools. The public school instantly lost about 1,000 students, more than two-thirds of enrollment. Yet the church, whose followers account for a majority of the voters, continues to control the school board and - until recent legal action by Mr. Goddard - the school purse strings, which are now frozen.
Mr. Goddard said that while teachers had gone weeks without pay, church officials in control of the district had used public education money to buy a $200,000 airplane and had funneled school funds and property to the church. They also have an administrative staff of 23 people, compared with 6 at other school districts of the same size, he wrote in a report to the Arizona Education Department.
Mr. Jeffs continues to raise money for his church by ordering his leading followers to donate $1,000 a month and everyone else to give 10 percent of income, Mr. Chatwin said. Some of the sect's top leaders have gone to the Texas compound, where a huge stone temple is under construction and new homes are being built, even as this community appears to be withering away.
"If you can visualize a 90-year-old frail woman who has given everything she owns to the cause and has been left penniless - that is the condition of the town right now," said Jim Hill, an investigator with the office of the Utah attorney general. "It's been sucked dry by these people."
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Thursday, October 06, 2005 - 17:00
Neither he nor his group is not Mormon. He and his group are excommunicated from the mormon church. He and his group broke off from the mormons and started their own religion. Mormons do not practice polygamy anymore. They did for a short while because many wives were left widows and children were left fatherless. Men who were financially stable and whose wives allowed it, took in the widows and their children to support them. This has not been practiced in the Mormon church for well over 100 years.
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Tuesday, October 25, 2005, 16:03
This is a blatant lie! Frankly, I have little problem with the LDS, and I fully recognize that the fundamentalist church is not affiliated with the mainstream church, but the practice of polygamy was not, in any way, an act of charity towards widowed women, nor was it practiced for a short time. It lasted for over 50 years and stopped only when the federal government threatened military action and non-statehood. Further, the practice of polygamy was introduced by Joseph Smith as an act of prophecy, instituted by Joseph Smith, and initially stongly resisted by his first wife and many others (who left) because he believed that God had ordered it, and its pure sophistry and double-speak to pretend that it was based on social conditions rather than Smtih's revelations. What's the point in such outright lying?(reply to this comment)
Thursday, August 04, 2005 - 17:43
There was a moving article on the "Lost Boys" in last week's People Magazine.
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