On the EDge: When will something be done about Short Creek?

OPINION – The news reports out of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona, continue in a tragic vein.

Last week, a 17-year-old boy who lives in the community was charged with sexual conduct with a minor and two felony counts of child molestation. A 14-year-old boy was charged with one felony count of child molestation.

Mohave County Sheriff’s deputies said the 17-year-old had sexual contact with a 10-year-old female victim and inappropriately touched a 12-year-old female victim. Detectives allege the 14-year-old boy also inappropriately touched the 12-year-old.


Read more: 2 Colorado City juveniles charged with child molestation

This latest report is, of course, nothing new to those who have followed the lifestyles and history of the fundamentalist Mormon cult that holes up in Short Creek.

They came to this remote little place in 1935 to set up a “branch of the kingdom of God” for those who believed the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sold out to the United States government when it agreed to give up the practice of polygamy to attain statehood via the 1890 Manifesto issued by church president Wilford Woodruff.

Woodruff’s manifesto didn’t take, causing many fundamentalists to flee to remote areas of the United States, Canada, and Mexico to practice polygamy, so a second, which Woodruff claimed came upon him through divine revelation, was delivered in 1904. It carried more force by dissolving all existing plural marriages.

It too, was ignored by fundamentalists who continued to practice what is called The Principle – plural marriage. It forced them further underground and into places that were, at that point, beyond the reach of the law.

And, it has continued.

The sad part of this is that each time we read about child sexual abuse in Short Creek, we can’t help but wonder how many other instances go unreported; and we can’t help but wonder how many times the local police, known as Warren Jeffs’ “God Squad,” have ignored the abuse. Jeffs, who is serving a life-plus sentence in a Texas prison for raping two of his spiritual wives – one 12, the other 14 – still holds that kind of power in the community.

We know as a fact that the attorneys general of Utah and Arizona have made superficial efforts to disband the marshal’s office in Short Creek. They have been unsuccessful even though we also know that the former chief of that department admitted:

  • to secretly recording meetings with federal and Texas investigators when Jeffs was a fugitive, then ensuring the tapes were delivered to Jeffs;
  • that his deputies blocked the efforts of outside law enforcement agencies by alerting community members when they were about to be served with warrants or subpoenas so they could hide from the law;
  • that he and his deputies turned a blind eye to FLDS members who took underage brides;
  • that numerous police reports were tampered with or altered by Colorado City manager David Darger.

But not much is ever done.

During the past year, we have read news reports of an underage boy dying from injuries sustained when the forklift he was driving illegally overturned. Arizona authorities, by the way, investigated, but charges have yet to be filed against those who allowed the boy to operate the machine.

Why?


Read more:  14-year-old boy dies operating forklift in Colorado City and Forklift accident resulting in child death, answers not forthcoming

We know that more than a dozen women and girls were injured when they were herded into the back of a pickup truck that crashed.


Read more: 14 from Short Creek injured in rollover near Coral Pink Sand Dunes

We have heard from several more women who escaped the community talk of the sexual, emotional, and spiritual abuse that takes place from cradle to grave in that community.

But nothing has been done.

In fact, a growing number of people believe that there is nothing wrong with polygamy, as long it is an arrangement among consenting adults.

The missing element, of course, is that they do not understand the context of polygamy as practiced by these fundamentalists, that there is no such thing as “consenting adults” when, from the time they can understand words, girls are instructed that their salvation depends on surrendering herself to a life that robs them of their childhood, their individuality, their freedom. If it was simply a matter of consenting adults pursuing an alternative lifestyle, it would be an entirely different matter. But it’s not. It’s abuse hidden behind the curtain of religion.

For years, we in Utah, suffered with attorneys general who refused to peek behind that curtain.

The First Amendment is often brought up in defense of those who choose this lifestyle. However, the freedom of religious belief does not mean people are allowed to participate in religious practices that are illegal. For example, your religious belief may condone human sacrifice, but you sure can’t follow that practice, at least not in the civilized world.

When the story about this abuse first appeared on our site, I was sickened by the comments that made light of the situation.

There is nothing humorous about sexual abuse and to those who complained about a good old boy network protecting those who offend – whether in Short Creek or elsewhere – you, too, are part of the problem because despite your anger you are doing nothing to remove those who are circumventing the legal system from power.

We do have elections, you know, and if those with the power to open an investigation, file charges, and prosecute do nothing, you can express your displeasure at the ballot box.

We have become inured by political scandal, broken promises, flat-out lies, to the point of having little if any, regard for those in elected office, no matter which party they represent.

But, what do we do come election time?

We keep re-electing the same people, time and time again, without regard for the damage their actions – or, lack of action in some cases – cause others.

We often settle, whether it’s through laziness or stubbornness, for less than we deserve without remembering that there is a greater good out there, like protecting our children.

Related posts

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: edkociela.mx@gmail.com

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Posted in Columnists, Opinion / ShowsTagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

63 Comments

  • My Evil Twin October 28, 2014 at 6:43 am

    I don’t think either you or I will live long enough to see the Short Creek mess sorted out, Ed. They are too politically powerful. The heritage of polygamy is just to strong with our “officials” to do anything about it.
    It goes far beyond sexual molestation, it goes to child labor, welfare fraud, tax evasion and many other things.
    Both Utah and Arizona turn a bind eye to the blatant flaunting of the law out there. And of course, they have off shoots in many other areas of the US and Canada. Some of these people are mufti-millionaires, and can pretty much buy what (and whom,) they want.

    • Cali rocks November 3, 2014 at 5:51 pm

      UTAH/ARIZONA & THE LDS/ MORMONS HAVE THE FUNDS TO STOP IT. THE LDS SPENT OVER 1 MILLION TO STOP GAY MARRIAGES AND NOW ALLOW IT. UTAH JUST CHOOSES TO ALLOW IT BECAUSE THEY WANT TO JUSTIFY THE FORMER PRACTICES OF THE MAJORITY LDS FAITH….THEY DO NOT WANT TO GO UNDER THE MICROSCOPE AND BE LABELED AS CHILD MOLESTOR”S SO THEY BURY THEIR HEADS IN THE SAND AND TO POINT THE FINGER AT THE FLDS. CHILD ABUSE HAPPENS EVERYDAY….IN EVERY STATE AND COUNTY. PLUS LOOK AT THE MEDIA AND MUSIC LYRICS THE SOCIETY DICTATES SEX SELLS & PROMOTES TO THE TWEENS & UP. NOTHING NEW HERE. SHAME ON LAW ENFORCEMENT, UTAH AND ALL LEGAL PROSECUTORS WITHIN THIS JURISDICTION. THIS IS NOT A 3RD WORLD COUNTRY OR MEXICO SO S OR GET OFF THE POT…WELCOME TO UTAH.

  • Aliceyn October 28, 2014 at 6:48 am

    Excellent article… Thank you…

  • DAVE RABBITT October 28, 2014 at 6:55 am

    Ed, I was with ya through the entire article, until the last few paragraphs. You want us to vote for someone different, simply in the hope that they will do something about Short Creek? – Our candidates seem to be more worried about discrimination towards the LGBT society and equal pay for women, than they are about 10 and 12 year-old children being abused. That fact sickens me.

    • Cali rocks November 3, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      IT IS SICK YET MOST 11 TO 12 YEAR OLDS CHOOSE TO HAVE SEX THESE DAYS. LOOK AT THE CLOTHING CHOICES AND MAKEUP THAT THE PARENT’S BUY FOR THESE TWEENS. NOT SAYING RAPE IS EVER OKAY BUT AGAIN ANOTHER ARTICLE ABOUT RELIGION….WILL THERE EVER BE ANY ARTICLE IN STG THAT DOESN’T COMMENT ON RELIGION IN SOME FORM AND USE IT AS A BASIS TO DISCRIMINATE OR JUDGE THE ACTIONS OF OTHERS. THERE ARE LOTS OF RESUCE GROUPS…BUT ONE HAS TO WANT HELP TO GET OUT.

  • Chuck Brown October 28, 2014 at 7:20 am

    and if you do decide to vote someone new in make sure they not Liberal, we see throughout America and in the White House how they don’t even bother with the Muslims over here in America. They want to crush anything Christian but will turn a blind eye when something goes wrong in the Muslim community, seems like the liberals are either scared of them or are working side by side to bring this country under Sharia Law..Lets not forget this country is being hijacked by a Muslim Barack Hussein Obama..FLDS & Islam are both Cults anyway..Whats the difference? NONE

  • Not buying it October 28, 2014 at 7:52 am

    You think gay adoption is ok but not a kid working a dangerous job with his dad.
    Strange to me.

    • Dana October 28, 2014 at 10:13 am

      You’re comparing chickens to a hat filled with rocks. Try again.

  • Brian October 28, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Ed, you always call for “something to be done”, but you never specify WHAT should be done. Man up and give us some specifics. Within the legal framework of the Constitution, what would YOU do if you were the one calling the shots? It’s easy to point out their problems, and there are many, but tell us how YOU would solve them. Put up or shut up. Would you go all “janet reno” on them, Waco-style? Would you pull a “Ruby Ridge” and go shoot one of the Mom’s in the head while she’s standing unarmed in a doorway holding her baby? Please, do tell.

    • Ed Kociela October 28, 2014 at 9:17 am

      Brian…Read to the end of the column. It suggests voting out all of those who have turned a blind eye to these abuses. Vote for people who will do something, who can initiate investigations and press charges, who will not tolerate the sexual, emotional, physical, Constitutional abuses that take place.

      • Brian October 28, 2014 at 2:56 pm

        I call you out for calling for “something to be done” and you instead say that the thing that should be done is to vote for someone that will “do something”. Hah! Your timing and choice of words made my day. Thank you. Suppose for a moment YOU are the person we vote in, what will you do? Please, be specific and detailed.

        • Ed Kociela October 28, 2014 at 4:32 pm

          Investigate and prosecute the fraud; disband the Marshal’s Office; open a division of child and family services office in the town; place a washington county sheriffs office satellite in the community with officers who are not flds members; lead osha investigations/prosecution of the companies using underage boys in their shops and at their work sites; ensure that those being home-schooled are actually being home-schooled by testing them to see if they are on the level as their peers in public schools. For beginners.

      • el jefe October 29, 2014 at 9:55 am

        Ed,
        Are you talking about child abuse or abortion? Sounds like it could be either or.

  • Graf Von Koolaid October 28, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Why wouldn’t Shurtleff (the AG who got arrested) and his fellow Republican Swallow do anything about them?

  • Joe October 28, 2014 at 8:24 am

    When you speak of changes in elections, Short Crick, Colorado City, Centennial Park, etc. are all in Arizona. Not much we can do about Arizona officials and their decisions.
    Hilldale is in Utah, which was under the watchful eye of Shurtleff and Swallow for many years. Maybe karma is catching up with them ?? They are no longer with us but their old position is up for voting next month. Not sure what any new Utah official is going to do there. The men in that area are out of control and think different than anyone of us could ever imagine. Willie is probably the worst of them. Warren is in jail but has enormous influence still.
    I think Arizona treats Short Crick like they do the freeway through the gorge. It’s too far away from Phoenix, let somebody else pay for fixing that mess. The Feds did step up and pay for all that construction going on there.
    But the biggest ongoing problem is the children whose lives they are destroying. Who has the best answer to fixing this mess?

    • PEEKAY October 28, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      There is no easy fix. Unfortunately in our lifetime the best we can hope is to start to fix these problems. There is hundreds of years of backwards thinking to overcome. First step will be education. These are smart people that lack education in a great many fields including ethics. In my opinion the best first step would be to figure out how to get these kids some education. Eventually this problem will begin to take care of itself.

    • Cali rocks November 3, 2014 at 6:08 pm

      YET WE IN UTAH TAKE THERE MONEY THEY SHOP IN OUR STORES. WE EMPLOYEE THEM AND WE PAY WELFARE TO THESE BIG FAMILIES IN THE FORM OF MEDICAID AND FOOD STAMPS. LOOK AROUND THERE IS NOT ESCAPE THEY ARE EVERYWHERE IN STG…

  • Tinker Toys October 28, 2014 at 8:30 am

    The fact that the local police out there still have jobs shows how well protected these folks are by the mainstream Mormons. The Mormon dominated government in UT and AZ have done nothing to stop this. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  • Dana October 28, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Our previous two AG’s were too busy lining their pockets to serve the people of Utah. The present appointed AG is nothing more than a hand puppet of Herbie and Gayle. He’s too busy trying to explain exactly WHY he and his office spent million$ to fight SSM, while allowing the abuses to continue at Short Creek…and all the while claiming to be “upholding the laws of Utah.” This will continue as long as we keep electing members of the ‘good ol boy’ club. Maybe, just maybe if they decide to hold a dance, the politicos will take a look at the area.

  • Jerry October 28, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Ok pump the brakes a little Ed. I can tell you with the utmost certainty that young men molesting young girls is no more rampant in Colorado City than it is in any other city here in Utah, or anywhere for that matter. The fact is when anything bad happens out there, journalists, such as yourself, sensationalize the story and portray the problem as if that’s the only place these kinds of things happen to capture the readers. Using words like “herded” to describe the girls in the back of the pickup certainly paints an almost humorous mental image, but I can also assure you that the girls in that accident were not forced to be there. Now that aside, I think the root of the problem is behind bars for the rest of his miserable existence, and the “problem” will play itself out, it’s just going to take time. Treating these people badly and blanket judging the entire community off of a terrible crime committed by two juveniles, is just going to solidify their convictions that everyone is out to get them.

    • Leah October 28, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      Thank you. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • el jefe October 28, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Ed has no tolerance for the outright abuse that goes on at the cricket. Yet he advocates for the outright killing of babies through abortion. Ed, you are a hypocrite! Take your song and dance show elsewhere!!

  • Cricker October 28, 2014 at 9:16 am

    I live in “Short Creek” And I am not a part of the Jeffs religious group. In fact more than half the people out here are not in his group. Pedophiles and molestation are sick and wrong! funny that you never see an article in St. George or Hurricane when it happens there. Targeting what town? RIGHT.
    You have got to me stupid to look at all these articles and not realize that they all happen in other places too. I agree to vote out the city council. David Darger is one that would throw his best friend under the bus to get on top! That does sound a lot like politics in general… LOL
    The whole city council is not in it for the good of the city. They are all followers of Warren Jeffs. They do what he wants. We are working on getting them out.
    There has been a lot of things said about the police here in Colorado City too. I feel like they have treated me more than fair in my dealings with them.
    This article is like saying everyone in St. George is accountable for the corvette that was going over 100 and crashed and killed the driver and injured the passenger.
    Or blaming the whole city for the hit and run in Ivins! Because this wasn’t the first time that it happened.
    OR what about this incident…
    http://www.ksl.com/index.php?sid=32102929&nid=148&title=child-killed-in-summit-county-tractor-accident&fm=home_page&s_cid=topstory
    These things happen everywhere!

    Ed Kociela You should really get a life… Quit categorizing a whole community. You have no idea who lives out here… who is in and who is out, who is trying to build and grow outside of the Jeffs cult. Then you pack us all in one as child molesters, your the sick one! And I feel sorry for the people around you having to put up with your closed mind!

  • Liz Porter October 28, 2014 at 9:30 am

    While I agree with the article 100% I am an active Mormon and we are not to be associated with the FLDS. Polygamy was instituted to assist the widowed mothers in the hundreds of miles trek across the plains that they might be provided for and protected as the Extermination Order was inacted.
    Wilford Woodruff, in close association with God, was commanded to put a stop to polygamy as the decay of the practice began to manifest it’s evilness. Only certain men were ever called to the practice, but others began to abuse it. President Hinckley had this to say about the vulgar practice of polygamy:

    http://www.mormon.org/faq/practice-of-polygamy

    It’s incorrect to describe the LDS members as a cult:
    kəlt/
    noun
    a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.
    “the cult of St. Olaf”
    a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.
    “a network of Satan-worshiping cults”
    synonyms: sect, denomination, group, movement, church, persuasion, body, faction
    “a religious cult”
    a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing.
    “a cult of personality surrounding the leaders”
    synonyms: obsession with, fixation on, mania for, passion for, idolization of, devotion to, worship of.

    We are monotheists and we are Christians 100%. We support and appreciate the efforts of other Christian Religions . An example would be :
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CBgQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ldschurchnewsarchive.com%2Farticles%2F27741%2FHelping-rebuild-burned-chapels.html&ei=3K9PVM3WHIeoyATi1IKwAQ&usg=AFQjCNFEYy6O-2MM-4xU9Tqd-pgmJwMNfw

    http://Www.lds.org if you have any other concerns about our history, beliefs, or current agenda

    • Cricker October 28, 2014 at 10:50 am

      ok, so you agree 100% with this article? I am not FLDS or LDS but I do live in “Short Creek” How can you categorize a whole town? Or even attempt to believe that all these things don’t happen in other places?
      There was a mormon mother from Hurricane who accidentally left her baby in the car and the baby died. Should we categorize everyone in Hurricane, or everyone that is mormon to be neglectful?
      These things are horrifying! But it is an individual party that is responsible. not the whole town or group.

      • Cricker October 28, 2014 at 11:08 am

        THB, I wouldn’t have charged this Hurricane mom for anything either, she has enough to deal with for the rest of her life. Same with the kid that was killed on a forklift. I’m pretty sure the parents have enough pain and guilt!

    • Dana October 28, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      Liz, you have been drinking too much kool aid. Get real and admit your church was founded by a pedophile who committed adultery for HIS OWN PHYSICAL PLEASURE. You need to be educated on the REAL reason for polygamy in your cult.
      You can start here: http://www.sltrib.com/home/1742980-155/com-essay-mormon-plural-sltrib-smith#disqus_thread

      • Old Man October 28, 2014 at 2:21 pm

        As a non morman I would ask All you Morman haters to name your Church so I can start listing all the things wrong with it. Or are you type to hide behind a bush and throw rocks.

    • H. Wang October 28, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      Are you really that silly to think your mormon church is not related to the FLDS. Do you really think you are a Christian… wow, I am glad most mormons are smarted than you, and admit what they are.

    • CLF October 29, 2014 at 6:52 am

      Liz Porter, I don’t want to be rude but you haven’t the slightest idea what you are talking about regarding the origins nor early practice of latter-day Saint plural marriage.

      I would strongly recommend you read the latest essays on polygamy produced by the LDS Church and found at lds.org. I would then recommend you read the sources these essay cite to gain a better understanding of the history of Mormon polygamy.

    • Graf Von Koolaid October 29, 2014 at 8:35 am

      What a bunch of hogwash with your persecution story.

  • McMurphy October 28, 2014 at 9:51 am

    I admit I have not been paying close attention to the state AG race or the Washington County commissioner races. Have any of the candidates in those races spoken of the Short Creek issue ?? Have any of the candidates been asked about Short Creek at their debates ??

  • JAR October 28, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Ed- I was going to put my 2 cents in on your piece on the Short Creek life style( Good article by the way), but Dave Rabbit, Chuck Brown and most of the comments that followed had already covered my inputs.
    It’s a little tricky to clamp down on people’s life styles without taking away their freedoms to do so. The ACLU is just waiting under a rock to start crying about anything that gives them a podium.
    I think sending several bulldozers down there and leveling the place is a good idea.
    But the ACLU would bring me up on charges for just thinking such a thing.

  • Joey Hawaii October 28, 2014 at 11:59 am

    I thought at first you were talking about City Creek “Let’s go shopping” mall. The FLDS are still practicing what Joseph Smith & Brigham Young taught more than the mainline LDS church does.

  • William Naylor October 28, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Ed, have you ever been to a polygamist community?

    • H. Wang October 28, 2014 at 4:00 pm

      Of course he has William he has been to Southern Utah.

  • Incident October 28, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Drone them all. Wipe out this filth.

    • FYI October 29, 2014 at 5:49 am

      Oh Yea do the drones. Your kind has already used the ovens and gas chambers why not try something new

  • Be realistic October 28, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Do your own research. Good hard facts don’t lie.
    http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Colorado-City-Arizona.html

    Besides not all people living in Colorado City are FLDS.

    • My Evil Twin October 28, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      Where do you think city-data gets their data on crime from? If you say from the feds, you are likely correct. And where do the feds get their statistics from? Why golly gee whiz, they get it from the local law enforcement, which in this case refuses to recognize any crimes committed by FLDS members. You need to dig a little deeper in your own research.

  • Rosie October 28, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    This problem exist everywhere, even in St. George. People are people wherever they live. I’m no fan of Short Creek but honestly, are they any different than the rest of this sick world we live in?? Their teachings do not condone this behavior any more than ours does but human nature says these sick things will always happen. I am related to many of those people out there and they are basically good people so worry about something far more dangerous than they are. In one week we have the chance to elect more of the same or change and elect good men/women who have not yet been corrupted. Term limits will also limit corruption in government. Prioritize instead of getting your panties in a bunch over a few messed up people in Short Creek. Overall, their culture is probably better than the world in general.

    • PEEKAY October 30, 2014 at 8:58 am

      “Their teachings do not condone this behavior any more than ours ”
      False. There were teachings that you whatever the prophet says because its the word of god. How it was put to me was “If god ask you to kill another person then it is not murder”

      “Overall, their culture is probably better than the world in general.” Compared to third world countries you are right, but everywhere else I would disagree with you. The whole town when I was there was a big prison. I don’t condone what these kids have done but I sympathize with them because they were just acting based on the training they were given. Splintering families apart and the lack of parenting in general contributes to this. These kids really didn’t have much of a shot of growing up to be decent people. This story is about 1 symptom of a poor lifestyle. Before we go on the whole they are not as bad as other places kick I will tell you I had to clean up a lot of messes for the FLDS and I know more about the people there then I ever wanted to know.

  • politician information please October 28, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    I am asking you then, to help summerize to us, the candidates in in this state, region and county YOU feel would best be fitted for this job.. if you don’t feel good about leading us with that.. could you at least provide a good article outlining what each candidates agenda is.. it gets murkey with too much information sometimes.. thank you. Its very difficult to separate the actions of the innocents and the action of the guilty in this situation. when people are programmed, are they responsible for their own actions? its easier said than done. my wish is for people to be happy and free.. and i do know that domestic violence is not easy to prove to the victim.. often the victim doesn’t even know they are in a situation like that.

    SIGNS THAT YOU’RE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP
    Your Inner Thoughts and Feelings Your Partner’s Belittling Behavior
    Do you:
    feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
    Does your partner:
    humiliate or yell at you?
    avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
    criticize you and put you down?
    feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
    treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
    believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
    ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
    wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
    blame you for their own abusive behavior?
    feel emotionally numb or helpless?
    see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
    Your Partner’s Violent Behavior or Threats Your Partner’s Controlling Behavior
    Does your partner:
    have a bad and unpredictable temper?
    Does your partner:
    act excessively jealous and possessive?
    hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
    control where you go or what you do?
    threaten to take your children away or harm them?
    keep you from seeing your friends or family?
    threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
    limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
    force you to have sex?
    limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
    destroy your belongings?
    constantly check up on you?

    http://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/domestic-violence-and-abuse.htm

  • Bdub October 28, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    I’ll be honest…. I didn’t read 99.9% of this story but judging by the first paragraph some bad Shizz is going down in Hildale? I basically wanted to say that the 5-0 would get in the middle BUT they are too busy keeping St. Georgians from *gasp* DANCING! I mean, common, we can only deal with one crisis a year folks.

  • neighbor lady October 28, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    I agree with some of the comments made, especially the parts relating to the rest of the world being just as crummy. The issue here is not about being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which is the correct name, for all of you morons that seem to know so much. We do have crappy political leaders here, but most dumb … don’t do anything about it either. Abuse is abuse where ever you are. (That covers what most of you commented on) There are sick people every where, but, many more of those incidents are investigated then incidents that occur out there. Did you consider that the children are victims of their environment? They are CHILDREN and they have NO control over their lives. I feel that Ed may be trying to tell us that but we all have our heads up our asses and our #### smells better than theirs. Ed knows what he is talking about. He wrote a book about polygamy! Decide what is important to you and act on it. And check your spelling, sentence structure and make your thoughts look intelligent. Most importantly, remember your topic: child abuse.
    Ed. ellipsis.

  • PROTECT THE SHEEP October 28, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    If Ed will adopt all these cute little polygamist girls just like all those central American children he was planning to adopt this problem will be cured.

  • Cheryl Hawker October 28, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    As I read through this article and the comment thread I see quite a few over generalizations, unfounded accusations and a couple of quips of denial. Being a woman who once had a mother in law who had been married off to Warren Jeffs after her first polygamist husband died and knowing people who live in Hildale and Colorado City I can tell you that this is not an easy fix.

    I can also tell you that throwing accusations towards Ed are not only misplaced but are comparable to not voting and still feeling the right to complain.

    I am a Mormon girl that was taught to ignore the polygamists as they shopped. I remember thinking they must have been taught not to look at or talk to other people as well. I remember that my leaders denied involvement of our church in the FLDS culture except to say that God had declared that we needed to replenish our population after the trek across the states due to the loss of so many pioneers. I remember that nothing else was discussed and subjects were changed quickly if questions were asked.

    Another issue behind the “tolerance” of the FLDS culture here in Southern Utah could be due to the desensitization of locals. There is no ASPCA commercial running with a Sarah McLachlan song tugging at our emotions to create a need for help and change. We just continue to shop and politely walk by the plyg’s with no thought of what the individual could be going through at that time in their lives.

    After my marriage to the son (non-polygamist) of my ex mother-in-law, that was married to the owner of an old folks home in Hurricane, I learned much more about the culture out there. I spoke to girls who were desperate to escape the FLDS lifestyle. They were depressed and desperate and yet much too scared to try to escape. I heard their fears of the repercussion they might suffer if they did try to run away. Over the course of a year my ex husband and I actually had two girls come to our home to hide for a time in hopes of creating a new life for themselves. Only one was able to move on into a new world of her own choosing.

    All this being said, I have to tell you that there are things that can be done to help these children. It’s a complicated fix with no easy answer. The members of the FLDS church are being groomed from birth into a submissive temperament and put into situations that they are not comfortable with and yet too afraid to fight against. They are taught that the government is evil and the root of the problem. Staunch members and FLDS Enforcers will retaliate and do their best to keep the community in the dark of outside news and outside influences. And causing change is difficult without creating violence. It’s a rickety bridge over a deep ravine and river full of rifle wielding crocodiles.

    There are a few steps that are being taken right now to help. The policing forces are being reassigned with new non-FLDS officers. Welfare services are more actively searching to help where they can. There are many more actions that have been taken over this past three years that are the beginning steps for change and choice for the church members in Hildale. It’s not enough, but it’s a start. I agree that it’s time to vote in new representatives that are willing to modify laws and encourage enforcement of standing laws that the rest of the state must abide.

    • fincenMIB October 29, 2014 at 3:00 pm

      My question coming in to this late, is this Steven Steed? Then are there 2 Steven Steeds? In 2005 I bought over 500 audio cassettes of Warren Jeffs, from an S. Steed! These were used in the Utah trial by DA Brock Belnap. npr radio used these. The Southern Poverty Law Center accessed audio from me. If its the same S. Steed he has fueled the FLDS fight. I am not sure, but have seen apostates flip and flop. One foot is always stuck inside the religion, usually do to family.

  • S Steed October 29, 2014 at 1:34 am

    The first thing that should be done is for Ed to go ellipsis himself. One of the main reasons the pligs don’t trust outsiders is because they are given these broad stroke stories that implicate the entire community. Full disclosure: I grew up there and most of the media reports about that place have been to vilify the community as a whole. Its frustrating to see reports like this about my family. It would be a bit like saying that the corrections officer who had sex with a minor in Kanab did that because he was way too close to Short Creek. Im not saying that the messed up stuff doesn’t happen there, but if you want to talk about child abuse in religion, look at the catholic church; if you want to talk about welfare fraud, look at Wal-Mart and the percentage of employees paid so little that they have to be on welfare. If you want to talk about child labor, look at the shoes and clothes you wear, or your phone. That community was amazing when I was there, but between Warren looting the place and the media using it as a distraction from the real issues; it has been brought to ruins.

    • Graf Von Koolaid October 29, 2014 at 8:30 am

      Yeah, sure, everyone is just persecuting the polygamists and failing to see what honest and decent people they are. And Warren Jeffs was a honest, family oriented guy (who just happened to have a perversion for little girls).

    • My Evil Twin October 29, 2014 at 8:43 am

      Right. Lets talk about all these different things. That way you can get upset about them, and forget about the mess in Short Creek. You are rather transparent here Steed.

      • S Steed October 29, 2014 at 4:58 pm

        You are free to think whatever you want, but if you perception is shaped only by what comes from the MSM it is one sided and dramatized for entertainment purposes. If you have ever been on the other side of the news you would know how shallow and partial those stories are. I see the examples I gave above, as much bigger problems effecting a lot more people than what is happening at the crick. I have no use for Warren Jeffs, I feel like he is right where he belongs. He is the reason I left that place. I wasn’t abused or forced to leave. Excuse me for being passionate about this, but this is my family we are talking about; and I love my dad and all of my mothers. I know this is biased, but they are much better parents than the average Utah family as far as engaging in their childrens’ education and development. My dad spent a lot more time with his kids than any father I know; and none of them were married before they were 18.

    • fincenMIB October 29, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      I know where all the bodies are buried! Last count the Baby grave yard had 62 mounds, how many today? Fumarace Disease is not accidental! Your gene pool is to close and you have the highest rates in the world for this disease. As long as Priesthood dictates power over women, there will be abuse. Sarah’s law is useless when women have to accept the dictates of a religion that penalizes woman with eternal damnation to reject a sister wife. Are you the S Steed that sold be over 500 Warren Jeffs audio cassettes? Listened to them ALL. Yep, I even have Ben Bistlines unpublished notes. Rulon Jeffs 1989 Deposition, all the hard back books, recordings of Sam Barlow. You need to argue with outsiders that don’t know the FLDS! Every family seems to have an autistic child or a child or two in that graveyard. I know all about the old Fred Jessop birthing center. Power and Human nature combined create the abuses.

      • S Steed October 29, 2014 at 9:29 pm

        That graveyard is more than 30 years old and it means there aren’t many children buried in the main cemetery. Women don’t have to accept anything, there is definitely pressure on them like any other religion but I have several sisters who have made the choice to leave. No I didn’t sell you any Warren merchandise. There are a lot more than 62 families in that town, and your comment about dead autistic children is not true; just like so much other info about that place. I’m definitely with you on the inbreeding, it does happen and its gross; but it is the exception, not the rule. What about the birthing center? when Aunt Lidia was there it was probably the best birthing center in the state; based on collective experience. I was born there. From my experience the abuse is not disproportionate to any of the 5 other cities I’ve lived in. Yes its sad, and those who are abused become the abusers. You judging them wont make it better for anyone.

  • Koolaid October 29, 2014 at 6:27 am

    The state of Utah will never act upon the abuses of polygamist communities or any Utah city where corrupt city governments have a firm grip of control on its citizens. Utah is all about control. You do what you are told to do. Do not speak up or deviate from what you are allowed to do. That is Utah.

  • jason October 29, 2014 at 7:28 am

    Nothing will be done, do you not see LDS in FLDS?

  • Cheryl Hawker October 29, 2014 at 10:11 am

    I do not believe that broad brush strokes are the problem. I believe that not approaching any of the situations is the problem.

    I understand that some residents may feel defensive or feel that they are being personally attacked. Well, rest assured that no one is going to believe that every man in Short Creek is a dictator and not every woman is a helpless waif. However, there have been many situations in history where over generalizations were used in order to create a motion for change. An example would be the Catholic Church or outcry against Muslims.

    This may be uncomfortable to hear for some of the residents that are comfortable with the lifestyle. But, that does not mean that advocacy for young people is not necessary.

  • Cheryl Hawker October 29, 2014 at 10:22 am

    To say that nothing will ever be done is to give up. Or admit to being lazy.

    Using a broad brush stroke is an important step in the process for creating change. It’s true that not every man in Short Creek is a Dictator and not every woman is a submissive and helpless waif. A few people may feel personally attacked by these over generalizations but this is a very important first step to creating a motivation. It’s how change began for the Catholic Church and how life is for Muslims around the world presently.

    The main point that should be taken from this article is that changes may be in the process, but not enough is being done yet.

  • Warren October 29, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    If you wiki Colorado City, it states that the area has one of the highest incidents of down syndrome in the world, from all of the inbreeding. Where are they at? I never have seen them. Just wondering.

  • fincenMIB October 29, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Love to see you still trying EK! You took a lot of my emails in 2000-2008! It is political, religious, cultural and about greed! Powerful lawyers have lined their pockets with FLDS monies. I have owned the FLDS books, the audio tapes of Warren Jeffs, recorded phone calls, read and held FLDS depositions. I have spent time in Colorado City with Apostates! I have argued with the FBI, State Attorney’s Office, DPS, DFS, District Attorney & Sheriff. I have tried to aide lawsuits against law makers, but conclude Utah needs suicide bombers to change such a deep rooted cultural mess. I moved out after almost 10 years in Washington County, had my life threatened and some here are right, I will be dead and gone and 2 states will still be making excuses. Thanks Ed and GOOD LUCK!

  • fincenMIB/Jay Beswick October 29, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    So there is no mistake in my identity! I filed with P.O.S.T. against both city Police Departments in the year 2000. Started dealing issues with AG Jan Grahm and Mike King the investigator before Ron Barton, Mark Shurtleff’s guy. Before Isaac Wyler went public I was his conduit to both Attorney Generals. In Arizona Janet Napolitano first! In the 2002 Arizona election Napolitano would dodge my calls to her radio Interviews. The Independent in Arizona MAHONEY had multiple callers trying to get me in. You just have to know what to ask those in charge. Never a fan of Terry Goddard who followed. Terry was a buddy to ex CC Mayor Dan Barlow. Lies built on lies! I have turned over my files to 2 new activist, its time for Fresh blood!

  • saffire berg October 30, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Like I have said before on posts like these child molestation is wrong and despicable but not everyone out here are part of this “cult” and personally I have been harassed by the colorado city police because I’m not does that change a thing no this is home to me now and will be until I say otherwise but you also have to understand not every child out here is getting abused either especially not mine I wont.allow it and that might piss Warren off but I don’t really care if it does you also need to realize that molestion happens everywhere not just here get over yourselves and find a new life and article to do and leave people the hell alone

  • Jay Beswick November 23, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Well, you never know! I may be sucked back in. Some one has tweaked my interest. Some thing I can’t turn down. I always loved the RICO Act. More to follow……..

Leave a Reply