This blog is in response to a blogger who posted on my site. I was going to just respond but just can’t shut up about this, so here it is.
Thanks for writing. It’s always good to get another viewpoint and this is an issue that I am very personally involved in; thus it is very emotional for me. First, the easiest issue for me, I take no exception to polygamy. Frankly, I do not see that the government, nor the church, has a right to dictate anyone’s right to a marriage of consenting adults. The proviso: as long as it does not harm another human being. No one should be forced into something, as this gentleman’s great grandmother was, and no one should be so programmed that they do not have free will.
I am a big proponent of the principle of “innocent until proven guilty.” My freshman project was a sculptural piece detailing all the men who had been executed and later proven innocent. But, one of the problems, when investigating child abuse, is that if you do not separate the parents and the children, you will not be able to get a true answer from the children. Children who are abused, are also trained/threatened not to tell anyone else.
It was a long while after we took my daughter’s sons from her, before the one boy quite saying, “He (step-father) did beat me, but only when I deserved it.” He was fifteen, and we told him “no one deserves to be beaten 100 slashes with a horse cinch.”
I am basing my judgments on what I am reading about the FLDS, and I grant that all reporting is not honest and not all issues are probably known. There were girls as young as eight, sworn to marriage. I doubt the authorities know yet whether or not they were also molested or whether the men waited until their wives were twelve before consummating the marriage. If what I read is true, girls as young as thirteen were pregnant. I believe, that in a group of that number of men, who are raised to be pedophiles, that there is at least one of those men who wanted sex with eight year old girls. Just take a look at the National Sex Offender Registry sometime or check your own state’s registry. Just Google “Sex Offenders”+ (insert your state here).
And, I’m sorry, but those are not totally innocent women. Those are women who are brainwashed, many since they were children. They need to be deprogrammed and given a chance. I do not feel they should be put in jail, because they did not have free will, but they did play a part in allowing their children to be abused. There are a lot of children here to process and, I think, they are handling it fairly well at this point.
A balance in the issue of presumed innocence is delicate. In my situation, of taking two of my grandsons, the school system has documented that a thirteen year old boy, was home educated to a second grade level in English and a third grade level in Math. He has a permanent, due to lack of education only, writing disability. The school system, in Indiana, reported the abuse to Wyoming, where it occurred. Withholding education is abuse. They also reported the numerous other abuses the boys related. However, we were told that, because the boys were safe now and the abuse happened in another state, nothing would be done. Even though there are eight other children still in that home.
Had we known, the extent of the abuse, when we took these boys, we would have called out child services immediately, rather than just removing the two boys. It wasn’t until these boys were safe in our home that stories started coming out. It has been nearly three years now and Just the other day I learned that the step-father forced the younger boy to drink gin, every time the step-father opened a new bottle.
All three of these boys see a Clinical Psychologist who has told me that he has a big dilemma with these boys. He is bound to report the abuse, yet he has no physical proof. He has not seen broken arms or bruises. What he has is three boys with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, all of whom have had flashbacks and freaked out. They all have anger and depression issues.
We, as the grandparents, were in their home, with their step-father, twice a week, usually. We were suspicious of things, at times, but other times such a false face was put on the home, that we had no idea what was going on. When they were acting up, the step-father would take them aside and say to them. “You’re being foolish. You need to settle down.” We thought that was nice, to hear him talk to them. We did not know that the word “foolish” was a code for, I will beat you to an within an inch of your life, when your grandparents leave. Sometimes, he nearly did. Two employers knew. One offered the younger boy a home. The middle boy told the other employer. Relatives who visited saw things. We have reported everything that we know and that we suspect to the authorities. Other people have not. They “don’t want to get involved.”
There are still eight children in that home.
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