It seems pretty clear to me that the residents of the Zion Ranch are as guilty as HELL as it relates to these young women. First of all if they were even on the Ranch when Warren Jeffs was separately and at different times marrying two twelves year olds, and two fourteen year olds they are guilty of a crime. According to Kovach and Johnson of the New York Times,
“Investigators said family marriage records seized in the April raid of the group’s compound, the Yearning for Zion ranchin Eldorado, Tex., suggested that the sect’s leader, Warren S. Jeffs, had “spiritually” wed at least four under-age girls, two of them 14 at the time, the other two 12. “
This seems pretty clear to me that if a whole commune sits back and allows one man to “connect” with four underage children then this is crime. The argument offered that parents and the courts can give permission for these marriages is bogus. He’s already married. Polygamy is illegal. So any other way he connects to these children is rape or statutory rape. Since the admitted living situation is communal living where on the ranch no child belongs to the parent the belong to the ranch, then when spiritual unions occur on the Ranch then they are all accessories to the crimes of molestation, and rape.
It has been reported that the men of the ranch go away and send money to the ranch for their child brides. If this is happening across states lines this is trafficking in children. This is clearly illegal under Federal statutes and I am seriously questioning in my mind whether FLDS receives money from men who want child brides, furthermore the very act of recruiting members who join and pay for a child bride is human trafficking to me. I don’t know what the supreme court of Texas calls it but it looks illegal if it’s not.
Finally, in the FLDS case I am heavily questioning the role of corruption in this case. I am also aware that the FLDS has threatened political officials with some sort of massive voter takeover with their 300 votes and to overthrow and run the local government out of town which it has been reported they’ve done in other places. Miguel Bustillo and Nicholas Riccardi of the Los Angelos Times write:
“The town also was abuzz over an anticipated mass voter registration by the FLDS. Hours after the court first ruled against the state, two members of the sect walked into the county clerk’s office and requested 300 voter registration forms, a potentially tide-turning number in a county with 1,800 voters.”
Everyone has the right to vote but when voting is used to intimidate a town because a commune is performing illegal acts. This is reprehensible. This is why the town, state, and Federal government must do their jobs in prosecuting these individuals for their acts against women and children.
There is still a big question mark on what the role of corrupt politicians, corrupt judges is. I seriously suspect that certain men in Texas are receiving money or child bride favors for protecting this prostitution/mistress ring. Furthermore, some media outlets are providing a platform for the FLDS which almost appears to be a commercial for this type of lifestyle. I even observed on commentator trying to put words in the mouth of a FLDS women he was interviewing when she was about to get caught in a lie. The lie was no members of the FLDS were not welfare recipients but he helped her clean up this lie. It was totally awful. I wonder if higher up in this media organization plan to take a trip to the Zion ranch soon or other FLDS locations and get a spiritual bride that their wife probably does not know about.