Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Polygamy Notes 2


Polygamist sect work takes toll on social workers

'It was wrenching to pull children away from their mothers.'

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Experts say many of those professionals may be suffering from secondary traumatic stress, a condition that affects people working with victims of trauma. Symptoms include anxiety, sleeplessness, nightmares and intrusive thoughts.

There's no telling how many people working on the FLDS case may be experiencing such stress, said Christine Dobson, director of programs for the ChildTrauma Academy in Houston, which is providing stress debriefing for CPS staffers. But Dobson said she expects to see a lot of anxiety in the people she counsels.

In most cases, social workers have a good handle on why they're taking children from their homes, said Vicki Hansen, executive director of the Texas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. In the FLDS case, they didn't know the details of the investigation or what led up to the mass removals.

"These workers are used to going into homes where things are really bad and feeling good about moving children from risk and danger," Hansen said. "This situation is completely different. To look at the mothers and children, you would see love and affection and bonds, plus children who appear to be in good physical condition. It was wrenching to pull children away from their mothers."

Education stopped at 14, went to work logging for little pay.

Talking to 'Lost Boys' of Bountiful
'Prophet' Winston Blackmore
A conversation with two trying to make it outside.
By Amanda Euringer
Published: May 26, 2006

Much has been written about the young women of Bountiful, B.C., who are married off and having children as young as 15 -- although the leader of the polygamous community, Winston Blackmore, now assures the public that the marriageable age has been raised to the age of consent.

CPS determined that 25 girls who claimed to be adults are actually minors, said spokesman Chris Van Deusen. That group may overlap with the 20 listed in the court document as pregnant or as mothers, he said. "The only thing we can say is we're aware of 20 young girls who became pregnant when they were between the ages of 13 and 16," Van Deusen said. "That's not to say that there are 20 now, but at the time they conceived they were 13, 14, 15, or 16. "That establishes that there was some sexual abuse here," he said

Azar was telling the press something very different from what CPS would say in court
Among the YFZ Ranch children are "dozens" of minors, he said, who have children or who are pregnant.

And remember this?
A total of 53 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 are in state custody after a raid 3 1/2 weeks ago at the Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado. Of those girls, 31 either have children or are pregnant, said Child Protective Services spokesman Darrell Azar. Two of those are pregnant now, he said; it was unclear whether either of those two already have children.

Two adult women have just given birth this week. Will there be others? Are there others? If they are, will Judge Walthers order DNA tests of all the men in the foster care homes where the girls are living?

The initial warrant was founded on a hoax. The subsequent warrant was reportedly because CPS workers saw pregnant teens.

Were these two adults the pregnant teens Angie Voss thought she saw? Will there be any repercussions for her incompetence?

(Hugh's been trying to tell me this for a couple days, and I've been working on updating this post, and then he went and made the point most excellently at Grits. Well spotted, Hugh!)

Texas ups tally of teen moms from FLDS polygamous sect

CPS has previously said that three teenagers are pregnant.
"It was determined they were not adults." He said some women acknowledged being younger and the age of others was determined by their attorneys or by looking at the women.
one woman now deemed to be a teenager is a 24-year-old woman who is pregnant (third one was 18, one was 22)

The plans describe physical, sexual and emotional abuse the state says children taken from the sect's YFZ Ranch experienced.

That evidence: a "large number" of girls ages 14 to 17 who have children or are pregnant; "several" instances of broken bones that are suspicious for physical abuse or neglect; "possible" sexual abuse of young boys; apparent exclusion of older boys from the ranch; a "pattern of deception" in disclosing family relationships; and concerns about the children's homeschooling.

Pamela Jessop, who gave birth April 29 to her second child, was listed as "15 or 16" in a May filing related to taking custody of her newborn. A different document, filed in April, had said she was 18, as officials now acknowledge.

They also agree Louisa Jessop, who gave birth last Monday to her third child, is 22 years old.

Both women are in monogamous marriages and their attorneys say none of the state's allegations fit their situations.

Teen mothers reported at polygamist sect's compound,0,4429232.story

Child welfare investigators who entered a polygamist compound in West Texas this weekend found many pregnant teenagers and underage girls who said they were forced to marry, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday.

Lynn McFadden, an investigator with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, declared in an affidavit that it was "widespread pattern and practice" among young girls at the YFZ Ranch to enter into "spiritual marriages" arranged by the polygamist sect and to begin having sex with older men and giving birth as soon as they turned 13 or 14.

The men, she added, were "having sexual relationships with a number of women, some of whom are minors."

"A number of the children interviewed were unable or unwilling to provide the names of their biological parents or identified multiple mothers and were unable or unwilling to provide information such as their own birth dates," McFadden said in the affidavit, adding that adults also could not state the full names of many children.

ACLU shares concerns over FLDS case

"Religion is never an excuse for abuse," the ACLU said. "But, exposure to a religion's beliefs, however unorthodox, is not itself abuse and may not constitutionally be labeled abuse.",5143,695277413,00.html

Individual hearings should have been held, group says

Published: Thursday, May 8, 2008 12:26 a.m. MDT

FLDS children adapt old ways to new homes

The Salt Lake Tribune

CPS stopped in effort to remove baby, his mother

12:00 AM CDT on Tuesday, May 13, 2008
By ROBERT T. GARRETT / The Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN – Child Protective Services tried to whisk a newborn and his mother, in state custody as a minor after being removed from a polygamist sect's ranch, to a different city within hours of childbirth on Monday.

But her husband, saying his wife is 22 and should never have been taken into state custody with the ranch's children last month, rushed to court and prevented it.

Because CPS had no foster care placement in Travis County that was suitable for the newborn, the mother and child were poised to spend the night in a CPS office, a lawyer for the husband said.

CPS stopped in effort to remove baby, his mother

Jessop's husband, Rulan Danial Jessop, 24, filed a habeas corpus petition in Austin last Wednesday that argues his wife is being improperly detained by the state. The couple provided a birth certificate, driver license and other documents as proof of Louisa Jessop's

Second FLDS mother gives birth while in Texas custody

An FLDS woman whose age is disputed by Texas officials gave birth in Austin around noon today to a son - and hours later her attorney won a ruling preventing authorities from moving her immediately to San Antonio.
Austin State District Judge Orlinda Naranjo granted a temporary restraining order to prevent the Texas Department of Family and Protective services from moving Louisa Jessop and her newborn to San Antonio this evening, according to Rod Parker, an FLDS spokesman and Salt Lake City attorney.
Louisa Bradshaw Jessop maintains she is 22, but the department has her classified as 17. She has two other children, ages 3 and 2, and is in state custody with them after an April 3 raid on her home, the YFZ Ranch in Eldorado.
Texas officials raided the ranch, home to members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to investigate an abuse claim. Child welfare officials say they found evidence of a pattern of abuse at the ranch, including sex with underage girls, that justified removal of all children.
The birth brings the number of children in custody to 465.
Jessop's husband, Rulan Danial Jessop, 24, filed a habeas corpus petition in Austin last Wednesday that argues his wife is being improperly detained by the state. The couple provided a birth certificate, driver license and other documents as proof of Louisa Jessop's age.
Patricia Matassarin, who represents Louisa Jessop, is scheduled to appear again in court on the matter Thursday.
Parker said the plan to move the mother and infant was a "forum shopping maneuver" that would have allowed the state to file custody papers on the baby in San Angelo.
"Why else would they move a 6-hour-old baby halfway across Texas in the middle of the night when they have dozens of FLDS children in shelters in Austin?" Parker said.
Texas DFPS spokesman Patrick Crimmins said the agency would not comment on the issue. The agency filed a similar petition two weeks ago to take custody of another baby born to a woman also deemed to be a minor.
The raid was triggered by a San Angelo shelter that said it had been contacted by a caller claiming to be a 16-year-old abused by her polygamous husband at the ranch. The caller has never been located among the children and the calls are now being investigated as a possible prank by a Colorado woman.
CPS declares FLDS mother an adult

Posted: May 13, 2008 11:01 AM PDT

Child Protective Services has declared the mother of a child born in San Marcos two weeks ago an adult. That means the mother is no longer in state custody.

They will determine the custody of the infant at a hearing in San Angelo at 2 p.m. Friday.

They're currently also working to determine whether a child born to a mother Monday will remain in state care or go to the mother.

FLDS man seeks wife's release from state custody
Posted: May 8, 2008 03:42 PM PDT

AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) -- A member of the Yearning for Zion Church was in court Thursday, demanding the release of his pregnant wife and two children.

Rulan Daniel Jessop, 24, said he and his wife, 22-year-old Louisa Bradshaw Jessop, have not broken any laws, and he wants to be reunited with his family.

They were just one of many families pulled apart and ordered into state custody when the El Dorado polygamist compound was raided April 3. Since then, 462 children were removed from the compound, along with some of their mothers.

They were first taken to temporary a shelter in San Angelo. Last week the state placed the children into residential child-care facilities around the state. Jessop's family was brought to Austin.

Louisa Jessop was one of the mothers taken into custody, because she looked like she was under age at the time of the raid.

boatrokr 05-09-2008 09:57:24
CPS destroyed my life and my family too by taking me from non-abusive parents and putting me into an adoptive home from hell where I WAS beaten on a regular basis. How nice to be 24 and treated like a child again. I hope they sue the state for unlawful imprisonment, unlawful restraint, and I hope Mrs. Jessop is making her foster "parents" and social worker miserable.

boatrokr 05-09-2008 14:18:17
CPS "rescued" me 44 years ago from non-abusive parents and gave me to the adopters from hell. You are MEAT. Ask about your parents, and you get CPS stock answer: "They can't take care of you right now." Repeated regardless of how many times you ask. Finally they tell you to stop asking. You get new parents, and are told to go home and love your new mom and dad. When you "fail to bond" with these parents you never wanted, you're diagnosed with bogus diseases like "attachment disorder." Texas seals adoption records and you can only get them with a court order. You may never see your real parents, or siblings (remember that siblings don't have to be adopted together, and the law doesn't require that you be allowed to maintain contact) again. Most people know an adoptee who searched successfully, so they think it's "that easy" and anyone who wants to can. This is completely false.

Child Abuse is Child Protection is Mental Health Treatment is Drugging Children

a law passed by Congress in 1961. As the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform (NCCPR) points out in a Child Welfare Timeline on their website (, this law allowed AFDC payments to follow a child into foster care. As such payments were previously made only to children in their own homes, this made foster care much cheaper for states and localities. This shift in funding facilitated a rapid growth in foster care. Another effect, perhaps unintended, was to undermine any emphasis on family preservation and restoration.

This should be a very interesting investigation. As Swanson reported, the state of Texas pays treatment centers as much as $101,105 a year per child.

This last piece of data is the key to understanding the shift toward placing ever more children in foster care, and less and less emphasis on family preservation and restoration. Observers of this trend attribute it to the fact that a county will only continue to receive funding for the period it keeps the child in its care. In various states, there is a "perverse financial incentive" to place and retain children in foster care rather than leave them in the home. Incentives are set up for maximum intervention. NCCPR issue paper # 5 informs us that, “The National Commission on Children found that children often are removed from their families ‘prematurely or unnecessarily’ because federal aid formulas give states ‘a strong financial incentive’ to do so rather than provide services to keep families together.”

No Country for Free Men

by Rick Fisk

Unfortunately the state will also bilk the federal taxpayer since the Federal government pays state CPS agencies for every child taken from parents (for whatever reason). Additions to the original Mondale act of 1974, which acted as the blueprint for all state Child Protective agencies, have essentially put a bounty on the heads of all of our children and made doctors, teachers and other health professionals immune from prosecution even if the allegations they make which lead to the taking of children are totally erroneous.

WSWS : News & Analysis : North America

Court proceedings begin in Texas polygamy sect case

By Kate Randall
15 April 2008 world socialist web site

Executing the search warrant obtained as a result of the girl’s statements, Texas state troopers and child welfare investigators staged a carefully planned raid on the YFZ ranch. Authorities called in a locksmith to open the front gate. When the police tried to enter the three-story temple on the compound, about 57 men formed a ring around it to block their entry. Finally, authorities called in a SWAT team to break down the doors to the temple.

Inside the temple they found some shredded documents. According to court documents released last Wednesday, they also found beds on the top floor or the temple. The state alleges these beds are used by older men to have sex with under-age girls after their marriages.

At the ranch, investigators found a number of young teenage mothers who they claimed appeared to be under-age, as well as some who were pregnant. The affidavit states, “Investigators determined that there is a widespread pattern and practice among the residents of YFZ rank in which minor female residents are conditioned to expect and accept sexual activity with adult men at the ranch upon being spiritually married to them.”

The Associated Press has obtained a copy this letter, in which the mothers say that some of their children have become sick and have required hospitalization. They also say that 15 mothers were away from the ranch when their children were removed.

On Monday, the women and children were moved out of Fort Concho by bus under heavy security and taken to San Angelo Coliseum, a large venue used for hockey games, rodeos and concerts. The move seems to have come in response to complaints from some of the mothers about the living conditions inside Fort Concho.

Three mothers of the children have sent a letter to Texas Governor Rich Perry, asking him to investigate the conditions under which the children are being held. The Associated Press has obtained a copy this letter, in which the mothers say that some of their children have become sick and have required hospitalization. They also say that 15 mothers were away from the ranch when their children were removed.

The also write, “Our innocent children are continually being questioned on things they know nothing about. The physical examinations were horrifying to the children. The exposure to these conditions is traumatizing.”

Five women staying at the Fort Concho shelter told the Salt Lake City Deseret News that the temporary housing was cramped, with cots cribs and playpens lined up side by side, and that the children were frightened.

The women have been advised by the state that if they leave the shelters, they will not be allowed back in. Griselda Paz of Legal Aid of Northwest Texas told the AP that said she had never seen such restrictions in a child custody case.


In 2002, 66% of Hildale residents received federal assistance (Source: Utah Department of Workforce Services) and 78% of Colorado City residents received food stamps (Source: Arizona Department of Economic Security).

source: "The Primer- Helping Victims of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse in Polygamous


By Betty Freauf

April 30, 2008

Instead, the social workers would contact the sheriff, or the local city police, and they would accompany the social workers to a home to supervise arrests of often times innocent people and take traumatized, screaming children to be “interrogated” and then to some “licensed” foster care home where it was not unusual for the child to be abused again. Bleeding-heart liberals who believed everything the media printed about this so-called epidemic felt the children would be safe in foster care because they were “licensed.”

Utah, Arizona AGs feel fallout from FLDS raid

when Texas child protective services workers saw what appeared to be pregnant teens, Shurtleff said, they had a duty to remove them and investigate further.

"As far as all the kids, I don't know. What else could they do?" he

Polygamist sect teen who gave birth is adult, Texas CPS says

May 14, 2008, 12:03PM

Texas Child Protective Services conceded Tuesday that a pregnant teen taken from a polygamists' ranch in West Texas was an adult when she gave birth in San Marcos last month, casting some doubt on the statistics released by the agency that more than 20 underage girls were pregnant or had given birth.

Early Costs For Eldorado Raid Nearly $7.5 Million

AUSTIN (AP) ― may 16

The raid on a West Texas polygamist sect began nearly $7.5 million in state spending during the first 19 days of what is now one of the largest child custody cases in U.S. history, a newspaper reported Friday.

The figures obtained byan Austin newspaper offer some of the first clues to the financial costs of the state's seizure of more than 400 children from the Yearning for Zion ranch near Eldorado last month.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Perry cautioned that the numbers, obtained through the Texas Public Information Act, are preliminary and unaudited. Perry's office has yet to release official cost totals.

Texas officials raided the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' ranch April 3, citing evidence that the sect has been marrying off underage girls to older men.

No comments: