Little Cult On The Prairie

Sometimes two centuries collide. Twenty-first century laws and technology are clashing with a religious sect in Eldorado, Texas where the women wear 19th century style dresses.

Texas government officials are investigating allegations of sexual abuse of the female children at the Yearn for Zion Ranch. They are looking for evidence that young girls are forced to marry men who practice polygamy in the name of faith.

The mothers have been appearing on the news wearing solid colored, long prairie-style dresses. They grow their hair long, then artfully pin it up on their head. In television interviews, the women sound like zombies trained to keep the group’s secrets. Now the zombie men are coming out to meet the cameras, and they are just as evasive, talking in circles when asked if young child brides are marrying grown men. (Bring ’em young, so to speak.)

This religious sect is described as an offshoot of the Mormon church.

Joseph Smith created the Church of Jesus Christ Later-Day Saints from a book he wrote based on what he said were a couple of encounters with some visions in the woods and a couple of gold tablets he found. Smith’s book re-located the Garden of Eden to Missouri, wove in some other Biblical references, and anointed the Native American Indians as God’s chosen people….ie, he said they were descendants of some Israelites who had moved to America in 600 B.C.

Along the way, Smith added “group marriage” to his religious teachings….group as in many wives for one man. Another church prophet, Brigham Young, reportedly resisted the idea of polygamy at first, but came to embrace it….and his 20 wives.

Some people didn’t like Smith and his new religion. In 1844, he was murdered. In 1847 Young and his followers moved west to get away from some unfriendly neighbors they met in a couple of towns in Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri. Young settled in Utah and others ended up California. The more conservative members of Young’s group of Mormons stayed in the Midwest.

With his practice of polygamy, I guess this makes Brigham Young and the Mormons early West Coast liberals. Young was eventually the governor of the Utah territory.

So you see, the Texas group and the Mormon church in its various versions are distant cousins. A “cult once-removed” so to speak.

There are a few differences between Smith and Young and today’s news-making polygamist leader of the Texas sect, Warren Jeffs. Smith and Young didn’t have income tax laws to take advantage of and their children didn’t collect government aid, as has been alleged with regards to Jeffs. Jeffs is currently in jail as an accomplice to rape for forcing an underage girl to marry.

Here’s what I would like to know. Why does everybody – including the kids — in this group need a cell phone? The girls are running around in outdated garb on a guarded compound, living what looks like a communal life, where the kids are safe from drugs and bad people are supposedly locked out….. yet each kid apparently has a cell phone. What ring tone do you think they download? Home on the Range? Buffalo Gals (Won’t you come out tonight?)

Here’s another observation. Texas officials are running DNA tests on 400 or so kids to determine who their fathers are. A pretty major undertaking. One of the ladies being interviewed explained there is confusion with the kids many last names because some of the women “went with one man to another.” Interesting. Apparently “divorce,” or at least changing spouses/partners is also a part of this group’s behavior.

It’s ironic that we hear of cases of rapes going unsolved because law enforcement officials don’t always have enough funds to test crime samples for DNA evidence. We also hear stories of innocent men and women being released from jail after several years when a DNA test is finally administered after much wrangling in the courts and with the help of persistent attorneys.

I do think these kids should be tested. I also hope if the women are collecting government assistance, that the state of Texas applies its child support laws to the fathers of these children and seizes their assets to pay for their support and counseling.

2 Responses to “Little Cult On The Prairie”

  1. The Domestic Goddess

    See, the DNA thing? I found out it is the FEDS conducting that part of the investigation. This whole thing is so bizarre. I don’t agree with their practices or their tactics, but I wonder if the gov’t is overstepping their bounds here. It just smells of Waco, you know? Except without the whole explosion in the bunker part.

  2. intuitivelyobvious

    It’s a question of do you not protect the children, just look the other way, because it is suppose to be a religion? I think those women are now so strung out they are beyond help after years of brainwashing. But the kids can still be helped…hopefully.

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