Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Lies and Statistics

Headlines today are trumpeting that 31 of 53 underage girls seized at the YFZ Ranch are either pregnant or have had children. Let's examine this claim just a moment.

In court at the mass 14-day hearing, the Department of Family and Protective Services claimed five girls between 16 and 19 were either pregnant or had kids. Later reports whittled that number down even further.

So how did we get so rapid an increase of 26 girls who're pregnant or have kids? DFPS spokesman Patrick Crimmins told the Deseret News: "Of those 53, Crimmins said 26 claim to be 18 or older. "But we don't think they are," he said."

Aaaah ... that explains it. I'd bet dollars to donuts every one of those 26 are pregnant or has a kid, since that would make DFPS' numbers add up. From the beginning, the agency seems to take these girls' word when it benefits their case, and label them liars when it suits them. That's probably a sound media strategy, but at the end of the day, in front of a judge, they shouldn't get to have it both ways.

If all of the additional "girls" they're now counting actually told DFPS they're 18 or older, and the agency has no documentary proof besides their suspicions that the women are lying, that puts a little different spin on it than most of the headlines today. Since DFPS has already said it disbelieves birth certificates and other documents found on the ranch, I wonder on what they're basing this belief that the alleged crime victims are liars?

What's more, if the girls and their families say they're 18, on what basis I wonder can DFPS force them into foster care?

This case just gets stranger and stranger. There's still no complaining victim. The allegations spawning the raid were a hoax. The agency can't figure out how many kids its seized from day to day. And none of the crime victims agree with the state's allegations, which differ wildly in the media from what DFPS said in court. Just bizarre.

MORE: From the Salt Lake City Tribune, and from Eugene Volokh. The Tribune reports that FLDS spokesman Rod Parker:
contends that the state's new count includes 17 adult women who are being classified as minors. "Beyond that I am unable to verify the information because the Texas Rangers took all the records that might be useful in responding to this," Parker said.
RELATED ELDORADO NEWS:

143 comments:

Anonymous said...

Part of the problem in determining how many underage girls have had children is because the girls and the mothers that were taken from the sect have lied. Initially, there were girls saying they were 18 when in fact they are not. They lied because they knew that what has been happening at the compound was illegal. The "mothers" in the group threatend the children not to talk to the workers there. They would not even allow the children to say anything. That is the exact reason it is unsafe for the mothers to be with the children. I think now that DNA is being collected, they DFPS will have the evidence to support their claim that older men were having sexual intercourse with the girls. DFPS is not lying here, but its just that the evidence is only now surfacing and the truth is coming out. That is what happens when children are removed from the abusing families. They end up talking in ways the couldnt do before. Maybe now they feel safe to tell what is really going on. I had been told that the older mothers in the group alleged that certain infants and toddlers belonged to them, not the teenagers there. However, it was obvious to some that they didnt belong to the older women,but the teenagers. Yes, a lot of confusion here...but not because DFPS are not telling the truth, but rather the childen and women taken are not being truthful, for obvious reasons.

Anonymous said...

It has also been determined that the children now in foster care suffer from numerous disabilities, resulting from incestuous relationships within the compound.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Perhaps you're right, but it's wrong and disingenuous for DFPS to get cheap, inflammatory headlines when their info is iffy and hasn't been confirmed - certainly not for these 26, who are in a he-said, she-said situation.

Looking down the road, how can DFPS prove a case in court when they're calling all the victims liars? For that matter, in how many cases does the state pro-actively go to the media to discredit crime victims? This is a bizarre situation, but touting unsubstantiated statistics to the press based on guesses doesn't help.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Also, how will DNA tell the ages of the mothers? I don't think that will resolve the problem at all if they can't accurately assess ages and are claiming birth records are falsified.

Anonymous said...

Initially, there were girls saying they were 18 when in fact they are not. They lied because they knew that what has been happening at the compound was illegal.

While it's certainly possible under-18 girls lied as you say, I think it's also quite possible, and probably probable, that some over-18 girls are now lying about being under 18 so that they can stay with their children. This was the option the State gave them, after all, and I don't think it's entirely coincidental that a number of girls who changed their story about their age immediately after it became apparent that this was the only way they could stay with their children.

stephen

Anonymous said...

I dont know, I think its all such a big mess. I dont know if the families have falsified records. I am guessing that they just havent provided any records. DNA may not prove ages of the "child mothers" but might shed some light on who they belong to and who the children belong to, especially in the cases where the young girls are denying having children and the older women are lying and saying that certain toddlers and babies belong to them instead. Its just my opinion that the DNA evidence will show some inbreeding here as well as coverup from the women in the group. Further, if it is in fact DFPS that are contributing to false headlines in the news, they are making themselves look unreliable. However, the media often come up with their own headlines for sensationalism and do not always reflect what has been actually reported to them.

Anonymous said...

Would the minors who are "married" even have parents on the ranch? There might not be anyone claiming them at all as their children.

I look forward to hearing about any such cases.

Doran Williams said...

I think it prudent to keep in mind that Mr. Azar and the other CPS people giving out numbers to the media are press flacks. They are not doing the counting themselves; they are telling the press what their supervisors have told them to tell the press. The supervisors are not even doing the counting; they are relying on other people all over the state to accurately report the numbers and the "appearances" of the mothers vis a vis the ages of the mothers. It is a system bound to produce error.

The press flacks are the CPS equivalent of designated liars, in my opinion. Even under the best of circumstances, the information they provide should not be taken as anything more than estimates, and probably should be taken as CPS self-bolstering.

It is infuriating that each new set of numbers is offered as accurate, and that the media apparently is not questioning the press flacks about the previous "accurate" numbers.

Anonymous said...

You are exactly right. Some of the girls may be lying in order to stay with their children. That seems probable. Maybe that was the option the state gave them after they were removed from the compound, but unless there was something illegal going on to begin with, why not tell the truth? The biggest issue allowing the mothers to stay with the children was that they didnt allow the children to talk to DFPS. In any other instance of a child removal from the home, the non-abusing/neglecting parent is given the option of leaving the home with the child. If the parent refused or went back to the abusing parent before the investigation was over, the child is removed from that parent. The mothers here were given more of an option than most when allowed to leave with the children. I believe that once DFPS realized that the mother was protecting the alleged abuser, not the child, are also being considered non-protectors in the home, therefore also responsible, they could not continue with the arrangement. I am not saying that I believe all allegations, but let's say that it is true that the mothers of these young teenagers allow them to go into spiritual marriages with older men, which includes the girl having sexual intercourse in the temple bed and having children at the age of 15-16. That is no different than a women who knows that her next door neighbor is a sexual predator but allows her daughter to go visit and spend the night with him. She would be just as responsible if something were to happen as the perp would.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

CPS is also relying heavily on that gloriously scientific exam known as the eyeball test:

We're getting a clearer picture of how CPS is determining the ages of these young women (emphasis added):
"Child Protective Services spokesman Darrell Azar said 31 of 53 girls ages 14 to 17 have children, are pregnant or both.
"This includes that group of girls that once claimed they were 18 or older," he said. "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.
"I have seen them myself," he said, "and I don't see any that look like an adult to me."


Three of my daughters are 25, 23, and 19. I could *easily* get all three of them into any museum, amusement park or theater as minors, and, depending on how she's dressed, the 23 year old looks like '12 or under'. I know this, because it is a constant source of temptation to me when we go to such places because without asking any of us how old we are, the ticket sellers always assume they are minors.

Anonymous said...

The real question in my mind is:

How long will it take for CPS to get it right and return all these children and mothers to their home?

At this point the likelihood of any prosecution is very thin so there is no criminal abuse. Can CPS continue to claim abuse in the absence of any evidence?

Will our rights under the constitution to unreasonable search and seizure and regligious freedom be strengthened or weakened by this mess?

I sincerely hope the media continues to report every event and keep the citizens of this country aware of what is happening in the land of the "free".

Anonymous said...

It is going to take months and months for the numbers to be accurate. At this point, who knows what to believe. However, some cooperation from the compound might shed some light on the truth, but assure you, that's not gonna happen.

Anonymous said...

There will never be charges filed on these people because they are hiding under religion. However, criminal charges or not , many of these children will never go home.

Jack said...

"THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH"
What a circus! I just keep waiting for the next act.
I think the Texas authorities have got themselves into a situation from which there is no escape.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

"Some of the girls may be lying in order to stay with their children. That seems probable. Maybe that was the option the state gave them after they were removed from the compound, but unless there was something illegal going on to begin with, why not tell the truth?"

How do you know they didn't? CPS acknowledges that most of these young women initially said they were adults- and CPS refused to believe them. IF they really are over 18 and CPS didn't believe them, why not tell CPS what it wants to hear so you can stay with your children?

Anonymous said...

I doubt any of the family will willingly tell who the fathers are of the children. The "single" mothers have milked the state for welfare and there is no telling what would be owed to the state. The Attorney General routinely goes after dead beat dads when the "normal" single mother applies for aid and that is exactly what should happen here. There is no reason that the state should be supporting what is obviously illegal. If any convictions are ever made, it won't be because of abuse of children, but likely some sort of income tax/medicaid/food stamp fraud. What idiot would have dozens of children and expect the state to support them?

Anonymous said...

So these CPS workers have this mysterious ability to distinguish between the ages of 17 and 18 based on looks alone? Amazing! I'm sure they all have promising futures as bar bouncers.

CPS keeps claiming that the women and children provided contradictory information, but the lawyers for the women and children don't seem to be suffering from the same confusion re ages and who belongs to who. In fact, weren't a number of habeus corpus petitions filed (30+)?

Anonymous said...

Because a lot of the girls didnt acknowledge that their own children belonged to them. Instead, they told that the children belonged to the older women who left the compound. They didnt acknowledge the children as their own. It was not until they were making the ones without young children leave that they came forward. Thats how I know.

Anonymous said...

Of course the girls initially said they were of age. They were scared that their children would be taken away if their real age was known and also feared for the men if it was found that they were underage. That is why they wouldnt reveal that their own children were theirs. It was not until the state was not allowing them to remain with the children that their stories changed.

Anonymous said...

How many children are uder the age of 4? That is where to start. Are there 31 or more? Calling them liars in normal circumstances would be blaming the victim. Now there are allegations of disabilities due to inbreeding. What percentage compared to the overall population? Also, if there is a possibility of charges against the mothers for welfare fraud, what about the right to remain silent? Also, does Texas have a law about parent being present during questioning?

Let's hope these interviews were taped.

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080427/NEWS03/804270658

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Here's what FLDS says about welfare:
Q: Does anyone at the Ranch receive any Welfare assistance from any State or Federal government agency?
A: There are a few handicapped and retired elderly people that are receiving Social Security Income. This is the only government assistance received by anyone at the Ranch.

And anonymous, if they were lying about their ages when they said they were over 18, how do you know they aren't lying now? The judge ruled that CPS didn't have to accept birth certificates, driver's licenses, even tax returns as proof of age. So CPS is relying entirely on their ability to guess based on appearance and self reports of the young women- and you and CPS both claim they are liars.
It looks like you and CPS (perhaps one and the same) only believe them when they say what you want to hear.

Jeff said...

This continuous coverage by Grits regarding this situation is just classic. Some of you fools are going to claming government interference and requesting these kids get sent back when the state convicts dozens of men of sexual molestation.

I eagerly await zookeeper, Grits, and doran to tear me to shreds claiming how ignorant I am of the situation.

This is the beginning of a multitude of "press releases" regarding this. CPS in Austin is determined to handle this in a very specific manner.

Anonymous said...

Maybe that was the option the state gave them after they were removed from the compound, but unless there was something illegal going on to begin with, why not tell the truth?

Why not just tell the truth?

Just venturing a guess here, but perhaps the mormon fundies lied to the State because the State had just kidnapped unabused children from non-abusive parents. Maybe from their perspective, trusting someone who had just taken your healthy, loved and wholly unabused children on the grounds of child abuse just didn't seem like a terribly prudent thing to do.

stephen

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I don't think you're ignorant of the situation, Jeff. When you write "CPS in Austin is determined to handle this in a very specific manner," I think you're exactly correct. I would have only added, "regardless of the facts in the case of any specific child."

Funny, though, Jeff, how there's not a single arrest yet and you've jumped ahead to "dozens" of convictions. Let's wait to see if ANYONE is charged, which seems unlikely with no witnesses and a bad warrant. As the saying goes, there's many a slip between the cup and the lip.

Ron in Houston said...

I've been damn curious how they're going to determine the age of some of these kids.

My honest impression is that even the best forensic analyst can only estimate age to within a year or two. So, I'd think trying to tell the 16 year old from the 18 year old would be difficult without some birth type records.

Ron in Houston said...

FYI - this abstract says they can usually come to within plus/minus 12 months.

http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1344622302001347

Ron in Houston said...

Sorry for multiple posts:

Impossibility of science giving accurate age assessment

Anonymous said...

You may underestimate CPS's interviewing techniques, Grits. For all we know Warren Jeffs turned state's evidence to boot, or maybe they have a jailhouse snitch in Jeffs' cell. Or maybe some of the mother's are willing to turn state's evidence to keep their children and escape charges against them.

None of that would trump due process arguments though. Even serial killers have due process rights.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Not at all, Ron, thanks for the info.

I agree those who've argued "DNA will tell the tale" overstate the case. The girls' testimony about their age, and their families, creates a presumption the state must rebut, which is easier to do in a press release than in court. They don't win these cases without witnesses or documents.

Jeff said...

Grits -

The state has predetermined to treat every single child the same way in terms of press releases until the Judge order which children are at risk enough to warrent a permanent removal (as you've documented, those court appearence start June 5th). Once the judge sends some back, the state will begin treating each case differently unless its a case where one man perped multiple kids.

The state isn't stupid; they know they need convictions out of this to appease the people that think this was simply a case of government interference run amok.

FYI - don't be shocked if girls start heading back before the boys. The boys made this case; the girls haven't talked for whatever reason; its been the boys detailing what rewards the "men" receieve that broke this case.

doran williams said...

Jeff, why shouldn't the kids "get sent back" if dozens of men are convicted? Those guys will either be in prison or on probation, and in either case will be prohibited from having any contact with the victims. The YFZ Ranch will be free of their influence, so there will be no good reason for the mothers and their children not to be reunited there. Sounds like a winner to me.

Jeff, with your sub rosa contacts inside CPS, can you tell us when the big raids on the practitioners of ritual male genital mutilation will take place, and which synagoges are going to get hit first? Or, maybe the raids on Catholic churches looking for evidence of child abuse?

Anonymous said...

In CPS cases, no, the parent does not have the right to be present during questioning. This was not a criminal interview. Silent? What are you talking about? Silent when their daughters were being raped? Yea, I guess they were. When these women applied for services, they signed paperwork indicating that what they were telling was true. To meet the requirements of benefits, no father should be living in the home and very little income. That is not what I have seen . These women and children were living in mansions compared to most HR client.

Anonymous said...

The FLDS families sure didnt mind the state being involved when the state was paying for their food and housing. They wanted state help, they have it now. Can't pick and choose.

doran williams said...

Anonymous, where do you get your info about FLDS people getting welfare, food stamps, etc.?

Anonymous said...

Same place you got your info on everything is going on.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

The only information I've seen on welfare for people at the ranch was already quoted in this string, "There are a few handicapped and retired elderly people that are receiving Social Security Income. This is the only government assistance received by anyone at the Ranch."

To my knowledge, the state of Texas has not alleged welfare fraud in either public statements or in court.

Anonymous said...

01:30:00, that's why CPS can't be trusted. You knew damn good and well I was talking about the right to be silent regarding welfare fraud, but you perverted that and went straight into the accusations, proving they had a right to be silent and a right to an attorney during questioning!

BTW, it is unlikely the boys witnessed any actual sexual intercourse.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

when the state convicts dozens of men of sexual molestation
I, for one, will cheer. As a survivor of sexual abuse as a child, I am all in favor of abusers, after proper respect of the same rights we all have for due process, being charged, tried, and convicted. If or when that happens, there is nothing I have said that will need to be taken back, since I have been in favor of doing just that from the first comment I have made about FLDS until now.

That won't change the fact that CPS, by their own admission, is holding people against their will based entirely on a guess about their ages made using the utterly scientific and infallible 'eyeball test.' That's just one of several inexcusable, unjustifiable abuses of power perpetrated by CPS, law enforcement, and judge Walthiers, and the ends does not justify the means.

Doran Williams said...

Anonymous 1:39, you are either lying to us, or you have broken the law, or both. The information you claim to have seen is not available to the public. If you are not the public, but a state or local employee with access to that info, you have probably violated regulations concerning its release and use.

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you. You have the right to consult with an attorney; an attorney will be appointed for you if you cannot afford to hire your own. You have the right.......

Anonymous said...

It has been alleged, publicly, that the FLDS is one of the biggest abusers of the state welfare system. It is easy to find information regarding the allegations on the internet. It has widely been discussed throughout the media. Charges have not been filed yet but it doesnt mean that they wont be in the future. Right now, the state if focusing on the children, but they will get to that. I would like to know what inside information anyone has about monies the sect has coming in--do we have an inside source? If not, I wouldnt make the assumption that what the members have reported is true.

Anonymous said...

I have access to the exact same information that you do. All of the information reported here has come from media sources. Take a look...google it. There are numerous websites providing information regarding the allegation of fraud by the FLDS. No lie.

Jeff said...

Zookeeper -

How is holding a child under the age of 18 against the law if abuse is suspect? That doesn't make sense. They "eyeball" test won't hold up in court, they wouldn't be so stupid as to try it.

That said, when a girl that looks 14/15 says she's 19 with an older male present, then refuses to talk without a male member of the church present, you use your "eyeball" test until you can confirm the age of the "supposed" child.

Also, I don't know if any male children witnessed any sexual intercourse. It was more along the lines (so I've been told), of "hey, we get to do this when we grow up!" type thing.

Anonymous said...

Christ, Doran Willimas if a complete and total tool.

doran williams said...

Yeah, you and the CPS "expert" rely on the same media to draw conclusions which you then present as truth. Lord. Save. Us.

Anonymous said...

No, the right to remain silent regarding welfare fraud doesnt make sense. They don't have the right to be silent and undermine the state by not being honest in answering questions regarding their household, income, etc...if they didnt want to reveal the truth, they should not have gone for state handouts.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if any male children witnessed any sexual intercourse. It was more along the lines (so I've been told), of "hey, we get to do this when we grow up!" type thing.

Wow, 15-17 year old boys are excited about the prospect of having sex at some point in the future.

If that isn't evidence of wrong doing then I don't know what is.

Stephen

Anonymous said...

Who knows what all these kids have seen. For all we know, they have witnessed their sisters be raped. Everyone is judging here based on what they have "heard" from sources. Again, unless there is someone here who has first hand information, all is speculation.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Jeff, see the 11:38 comment and follow the link. CPS claims that they know the girls are underage because they looked at them and they don't look over 18. That's not good enough.

As for Welfare Fraud, I have read such accusations by authorities about the communities in Arizona- NEVER in Texas- except by people like anonymous who don't offer any evidence.

The Texas community may be abusing the system. I don't know. They say they aren't even using it, except for the handicapped and the elderly. That's all I can find about the Texas community. IF somebody can present some sort of evidence that the Texas community is guilty of Welfare Fraud, I'd be interested in seeing it.

But if they are using Welfare, then CPS is lying when it says they have documents proving their age. You can't be on Welfare without such documentation, so both allegations cannot be true.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Er- I meant if they are on Welfare, then CPS is lying when it says they have no documents because you can't be on Welfare without proof of i.d.

Anonymous said...

The welfare fraud thing-----is silly given that via CPS, the State of Texas is providing for 100% of the support of all the folks in custody.

Cry about the abuse of these folks rights, if you need to cry!

Anonymous said...

Who knows what all these kids have seen. For all we know, they have witnessed their sisters be raped. Everyone is judging here based on what they have "heard" from sources. Again, unless there is someone here who has first hand information, all is speculation.,

That there are no arrests so far is not speculation. And trial by media is half the problem; the other half is due process violations.

John said...

The NY Times reported this press release in a squib in the National Breifing section:
Texas: Officials Find Mothers Among Girls in Custody

State child welfare officials say that 31 of the 53 girls ages 14 to 17 swept into state custody from a polygamist group's ranch already have children or are pregnant. State officials stook custody of all 463 children at the ranch in Eldorado after an April 3 raid prompted by a girl's call to a domestic violence hot line.

That's it. The squib is not indexed or available at the web site. In comparison, the Ft Worth Star Telegram has a breathlessly credulous headline article featuring the story.

I think that Texas Child Protective Services has little credibility with the NY Times, thus its scanty treatment. The Ft Worth Star Telegram stopped reporting several years ago after McClatchy bought it, and now publishes press releases instead.

Anonymous said...

If they lied about who they were living with and where the fathers were, then whose to say they didnt lie on their applications? Yes, the state may be providing for 100% of the children now, but thats better than supporting adult women and men who are abusing the system. You can say its silly, but if you are okay with your hard earned tax dollars supporting the sect, then go to the FLDS website and dontate.

John said...

BTW, thanks for the analysis on the "statistics." There is something suspicious about them - they are too vague to support the conclusion - but I didn't know what, except by this time I don't believe anything DPS says.

As for anonymous asserting that the girls and mothers lied about their age, he/she is ignoring the probability that some of them genuinely believed they were adults and were not aware that one must be 18 in Texas to be an adult.

Jeff said...

Zookeeper -

Its enough to warrant initial removal, which again is all we are at right now.

As to John, that's a dumb thing to write. HOW OLD ARE YOU? does not translate into HOW OLD DO YOU BELIEVE YOU NEED TO BE IN ORDER TO BEAR CHILDREN IN THE STATE OF TEXAS? Two totally different things

rage said...

It has also been determined that the children now in foster care suffer from numerous disabilities, resulting from incestuous relationships within the compound.

Bullshit. Disabilities take generations to manifest, if then. Incest is a huge social more, and downright disgusting, but it won't crank out disabled babies in one generation.

I hope you don't work for the state.

rage said...

So I'm going to troll the local high school and pick up some dates. When prosecuted, I'll just say "she looked 18 to me," and surely that will be as good for the gander as it was for the goose.

No?

Kathy said...

anonymous said, "All of the information reported here has come from media sources. Take a look...google it. There are numerous websites providing information regarding the allegation of fraud by the FLDS."

Well there you go! It's in the media and on the internet. That must make it true :-)

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Regarding whether or not FLDS members rely heavily on assistance from Welfare or Foodstamps- I don't, in fact, depend upon their assertion as being true or false.

Unlike anonymous, who insists he/she knows this is what they do, I remain neutral on that issue, and have typed repeatedly that I am sure there is some abuse going on in some families that should be remedied- legally- and that I do not like or agree with FLDS theology and much of its practices.

These are the only facts I know about the Welfare Fraud allegations:

Nobody, other than anonymous commenters on the internet, has accused the members of the *Texas* group of Welfare fraud anywhere that I can find. I don't think it's reasonable to hold them guilty for what some members of the Arizona and Colorado communities do. I can find that CPS is pretty free with other allegations, as is law enforcement ('dozens' of underaged mothers; the titillating stories of sex beds in the temple; that these people lie all the time; that they don't have I.D.; that they aren't allowed to play with toys or don't know how to use crayons; 50 year old men with 13 year olds, and Angie Voss even accused them of encouraging 'old men' to have sex with 'little girls'- her words, when they have no such evidence and I think it's emotionally inflammatory, intellectually dishonest, and manipulative to call teenagers 'little girls,'while testifying under oath, so I don't see why, if they had evidence of Welfare Fraud they wouldn't have mentioned it.

CPS insists that they don't have any documents, or that those they have 'might' be forged. This is, like it or not, inconsistent with the anonymous claims that they are defrauding Welfare. CPS presented NO evidence that their documents were forged, they merely asserted that they *might* be. So might yours. I think the state should have more evidence before treating me or you or FLDS as forgers in possession of stolen or falsified identification.

FLDS might well be lying when they state, categorically, that the only members of the ranch using Welfare or food stamps are the disabled and the elderly. But you see, they are making substantive, verifiable statements of fact, and CPS isn't. And if they were, in fact, using Food Stamps, people in town would know it. Where do they shop? The cashiers and managers at those stores know very well which of their customers are on food stamps. They could come forward and call FLDS out on that lie= if it is a lie.

Another possibility is that the Texas community has looked at the things that caused members of the other two communities problems and has been trying to avoid them, so they are not actually on Welfare or food stamps.

Right *now* it looks to me like they have more credibility than CPS or anonymous commenters on this issue.

So, I ask again, if you know for a fact that the members of the Texas community are committing Welfare Fraud- or even simply using it, where do you get your information and can you share the source?

I actually would like to know the truth.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Actually, Jeff, that's the problem. We're past initial removal. We're past the 14 day hearings. And CPS is still treating the kids like a herd of cattle, not differentiating by individual circumstance as the law requires. Since you apparently work for them, given your claimed inside knowledge of investigations, you must know that's completely contrary to the law and usual practice, as is constantly playing the media, tossing out one fabricated number after another they can't confirm.

And if you're right the girls will go home first, how bizarre is that? The boys aren't under any threat of abuse that I've heard of, the allegation is they're being "groomed" to be abusers decades from now.

I agree with the Headmistress - I'd cheer if they got actual convictions, but I don't see it happening. All I think CPS will get is egg on their face, and in the meantime they've created a huge mess.

Anonymous said...

If the growth plate on the wrist is calcified, then the person is most likely over the age of 18. That doesn't help much in proving that a person is under 16.

John said...

Jeff takes me to task:

As to John, that's a dumb thing to write. HOW OLD ARE YOU? does not translate into HOW OLD DO YOU BELIEVE YOU NEED TO BE IN ORDER TO BEAR CHILDREN IN THE STATE OF TEXAS? Two totally different things

Well, you may be right, but it depends on what the women were asked. If something like "Children on this side, adults on that side" there would be confusion. I was on my own at 16, and if I were asked at 17 if I were an adult, I would have said yes, regardless of state law, which I wouldn't have known anyway. I certainly didn't think of myself as a child. No, it wasn't Texas, and my independence wasn't religion.

So, what were the FLDS members asked? "How old are you?" or "Adult or child?"

Somebody else here asserts that the CPS used the "eyeball" method to determine adult or child.

Look, this raid just wasn't well considered. I don't mean to make a whipping boy of CPS - I agree with the Local Crank that CPS simply doesn't have the clout to be the heavy, although you are sure going to get blamed for this mess. We are left to guess what went on in the raid and roundup, what was asked and said, and the confusions aren't helped by dubious press releases. You can't tout the children as liars one moment and victims to be protected the next without raising a few eyebrows.

W. W Woodward said...

Questions: Does anyone know if birth certificates are required by law, and if the failure of a parent to obtain one is prosecutable under Texas law.

Up until sometime after the War for Southern Independence only slaves had births registered so as to preserve pedigrees for the slave owners.

It makes one wonder just why would the state (government) require a birth certificate and a social security? number for infants???

kbp said...

What a string of comments I missed being a part of today!

Al should remember;
When you stand up for the rights of those that may be guilty, we'll know you believe in those rights.

When you take rights away from any suspects, you'll also take them away from the innocent.

Anonymous said...

Well all those families will be getting welfare now. If the foster parents are smart, the kids under 5 will go on WIC ASAP. It doesn't go away until thet're 5 even if they are returned or go on to a new home. The women will probably get it every time they're pregnant now.

DFS/CPS not accepting birth certificates is just ridiculous. Those are state issued certificates in most places and the courts are supposed to accept government employees' word as expert witness. And social security cards (numbers) are now required to claim children as deductions on federal income tax. I had an electronically filed return rejected for not having a correct one for an adopted child (it was his old one and the name didn't match).

I'd think the ladies would change their minds at the last minute to agree with CPS so they could be with their children, even if they had to say they were 17 when they're 25. They aren't lying under oath - but CPS sure looks like they may have been - read the original avidavit for removal - I don't think they tried any methods to eliminate the circumstances, but rather decided to take all the children anyway. That ought to be perjury when you say you did something that really you never did.

kbp said...

OOPS!

"All should..."

kbp said...

An FLDS female whose age is in dispute was in labor in a San Marcos hospital Tuesday, accompanied by Texas Rangers and CPS workers, an attorney said.
Attorney Rod Parker, an FLDS spokesman, said Pamela Jeffs is 18 - the same age shown for her on a court document prepared by Texas Child Protective Services.
Jeffs is one of 26 females CPS has now classified as minors, an assessment that the FLDS said Monday was erroneous.
"Her husband is 22 and they are a monogamous couple," Parker said. He said Jeffs' husband is not at the hospital with her.
The couple also have a 16-month-old son, who is being held at The Children's Shelter in Austin...

Anonymous said...

I abhor what CPS has done and is doing, but I do also believe that it is legal and constitutional. These laws and practices have been in effect for nearly a decade now, and CPS is very well versed in how to proceed with their "prosecution". Since the Mondale act of 1974, States have been modifying their statutes to conform in order to gain federal monies. In 1998 President Clinton ordered an escalation of this process, and gave additional financial incentives to states (and CPS) to expedite the process. The goals (as they were pitched at the time) were to streamline the legal process by making it very similar in every state, seek permanency for children in foster care in less than two years, and reward the state with funds if they could adopt out twice as many children each year as the year before. Failure to do these things meant forfeiting federal dollars. It seemed that by accomplishing these things, soon there would be no children left in foster care, and thus no need for large CPS departments. The overall savings would pay for itself in short order. Clinton didn't foresee that these incentives would be later used to justify jobs, and children pulled into foster care for the sake of meeting quotas, but that is effectively what happened (not that this is CPS's express motivation here).

Since 2000, these tactics have been employed by CPS in every state. Early on, the majority of the cases were justifiable because abuse did exist. By 2002, CPS found they needed to double the number of kids in foster care in order to double the number freed for adoption in order to continue funding. At this time, they began assaults on children "less abused", but where it might be prudent to "prevent abuse". As those numbers dwindled, they sought to go after those where abuse was likely, but not evident. As the legitimate abuses became less and less, the standards of proof were lowered. These standards were already set low by law, but judges began to require less and less evidence (as allowed by the existing standards). As such, simply claiming abuse may have occurred, and that potential abuse might occur at some undefined point in the future has become the normal tactic CPS relies upon. They still need an allegation of abuse in order to set the wheels in motion, but that allegation can be anon or even knowingly false, provided the CPS investigator thinks or suspects (a purely subjective standard) that some form of abuse exists or might potentially exist.

Once the children are legally in state custody, the families are herded down the chute to the branding station at the end. It is a one way trip that precious few escape. Parents are expected to moo softly and move along. Children are taught that their parents were unfit to care for them and that they were abused. While infants are typically easy to adopt out, the prime meal that feeds the States CPS engine are the 5-14 year olds. They are more difficult to adopt out, and the state rakes in federal dollars to maintain them in foster care. Once a child hits 18, they're dropped in the streets. Those whom are 14-17 at the time of initial custody are most often placed in group settings originally slated for troubled teens. For many of these teens, this is their first encounter with unsavory peers, and they learn fast how to fit into that group. For the lucky few that are "freed for adoption" (through involuntary termination of parental rights), once they reach 18, they return to their families to learn they no longer have any legal standing in the family or inheritance issues. New laws are being proposed today to address this issue by allowing children to reverse the termination of parental rights just before they age out of the system so they can have legal standing again. In the bulk of cases, once a child ages out, they return to their birth family anyway.

As I see it, the source of these problems is the lower standards set into law. A vast majority of these cases would cease to exist if a criminal standard was required to remove a child from their parents. Such a standard would also help reduce the number of actual abuse cases needing to be addressed. I would propose that the lower standard be kept in place in order to cause a family to utilize those services that CPS (often claims to have offered but never did) has at their disposal in the form of prevention. But to physically remove a child from a family, the criminal threshold must be crossed.

CPS has proven to be very bold in this particular case, as they have often stayed away from taking on anyone with enough money, power, or ability to draw mass media attention to how this system actually works. The vast majority of these cases are sealed so no one can see what goes on behind closed courtroom doors, and parents who do manage to complain to media are simply discounted as disgruntled child abusers who want to complain about how unfairly they were treated for abusing their children. This case has managed to remain unsealed for the moment, exposing what CPS has been doing in smaller instances all over the country for several years. CPS has many years of court cases to support their way of doing things, so legally they're "safe". This is however one of the few instances where the court of public opinion needs to be persuaded, else their entire house of cards could fall down at the next legislative session. Regardless, as far as these children are concerned, their families are destroyed. Some "may" be reunited with a parent, but only if that parent repents and corrects the errors of their ways, which would require the destruction of the family unit as these people know it to be.

kbp said...

Anon,

You make some good points, many i feel are not applicable in this case.

A problem i see is at the beginning where you start off stating "...but I do also believe that it is legal and constitutional."

You completely miss the procedures the CPS must adhere to and the individuals rights they and the court ignored by not following procedure.

Anonymous said...

You completely miss the procedures the CPS must adhere to and the individuals rights they and the court ignored by not following procedure.

I didn't expound upon those, you are right, but according to how juvenile statutes are written, all stantards have been met.

The law sets the standard for initiating an investigation as having a complaint. One exists.

The law sets the standard for taking a child into custody as having an affidavit claiming abuse exists or immediate danger of abuse exists. Such an affidavit was filed. Such an order for removeal of the children was granted.

The law requires that a continued custody hearing be held within a specific time period. One was. It further states that the evidentiary standard be "perponderance of the evidence" (which basically means a 50/50 chance the accusations could be true). Law further states that if a mandated protector recommends that a child be placed back into the potential abusive environment and abuse does occur as a result, that protector can be held criminally liable. Hence, CPS workers avoid the risk by never making the recommendation. Judges avoid the risk by granting continued custody. Keep in mind the continued custody hearing is not an evidentiary hearing, and hearsay is permissable. In this case, as in the case of many others, continued custody was granted by a court of law.

The next phase will be adjudication, and the standard there is set higher, but the burden to prove is that the child is "in need of care". With few exceptions, all children need care in some form or another, so this is an easy win for CPS.

After adjudication comes disposition, where CPS outlines the plan to reunify the child with the parent (and evidentiary standards are reverted to Perponderance of the evidence again). Even though during the preceeding phases, no actual evidence of abuse or immediate danger was presented, the plan for reunification will set forth as a goal a full admission of such abuse or threat by the parent. Other goals will also be put into place to destroy the environment from which the children came and replace it with an environment CPS desires. Many parents fail to achieve these goals.

After disposition, review hearings continue about once every six months. The parents progress with the plan is monitored. If after the child has been in custody for 18 of the past 24 months, CPS seeks termination of parental rights (to comply with the "freed for adoption" standards set forth by the feds). If a parent does manage to complete the plan in time, CPS has the ability to say the parent only went through the motions and disn't learn anything, and thus seek termination. The third prong which could cause the termination process would be in the parents deciding to not perform the plan at all.

So parents have their parental rights terminated because they a) didn't complete the plan in a timely fashion b) completed the plan in time, but didn't learn anything, or c) refused to participate in the plan.

This is all still a little bit of putting the cart before the horse, because in this case, they're only just past the continued custody hearing and not yet to adjudication. Yet the wheels are already set in motion when the state received the report of abuse, and the investigator swore on an affidavit that the abuse existed or there was a potential for abuse.

Anonymous said...

I also forgot to address the potential issue that these cases were not handled individually, but I predict that given the circumstances of this case with the short fuse and the facts being similar, an appelate court will overlook that tidbit and claim the lower court did the best job possible and acted in good faith by hearing this case en globo. For the adjudication, individual hearings must occur because the evidentiary standard will be raised.

Anonymous said...

Here is the pdf "Emergency Motion for Stay Pending Review of Petition for Writ of Mandamus," found at Kidjacked

Anonymous said...

Tidbit? Now due process is a "tidbit."

Scotty, beam me up!

The scary part is you are probably right. It will come to that.

Thank you for all the insights though. Very well said and informative.

kbp said...

Anon,
Thanks for sharing. We may not agree 100%, but close.

Do you have a link or access to the ruling of the 14 day hearing, and any other public documents (motions, orders...)?

Thank In Advance

:)

kbp said...

In case any missed it;

FLDS Church lawyers taking steps to sue Texas


Letter to Carey Cockerell, Commissioner Texas DFPS


Letter to David Doran, Schleicher County Sheriff


Letter to Joyce James, Asst. Commissoner Texas DFPS

kbp said...

A Timeline of Events To Date

The Local Crank said...

"Once the children are legally in state custody, the families are herded down the chute to the branding station at the end. It is a one way trip that precious few escape. Parents are expected to moo softly and move along. Children are taught that their parents were unfit to care for them and that they were abused."

I really, really, wish to God I could argue against this characterization, but I'd be lying if I did. Not to mention that the children are ALWAYS and WITHOUT FAIL in EVERY SINGLE CASE found to be ADHD, ODD, Bi-Polar or some such and prescribed serious medication. In one case where I was the ad litem, they were giving major league anti-depressents to a little girl not yet two years old.

kbp said...

Pamela Jeffs delivered a healthy boy...
...is one of 26 women CPS says is a minor - although a court document prepared by a state investigator lists her as 18. Attorney Rod Parker, an FLDS spokesman, also said Jeffs is 18.

...Parker said that 40 women who went to a domestic violence shelter in San Angelo last week when officials said they could no longer stay with children older than age 1 have all returned to the ranch.


Seems they are still not clear on where all children are placed, or at least not letting all parents know anyway.

Anonymous said...

Official: History of injuries found in polgamist sect kids

The chief of protective services in Texas is telling legislators that investigators have uncovered a history of physical injuries, including broken bones, in children taken from a polygamst sect.

On first reading, I thought, "I was wrong and 'they' were right. Why defend the FLDS? Wait, I'm not defending the FLDS. I'm defending the Constitution and due process. What' wrong with that?" Further, there is no assertion these injuries were do to child abuse, though that is certainly the implication. Are these injuries any different than in a normal cross section of kids?

I wish it were possible to trust the CPS. The "state legislative committee" will likely not question this at all though it should. If any child abuse allegations are true, that is one thing and prosecution is warranted; but if CPS is manipulating the media, that is quite another. Either way, due process is due process.

kbp said...

While things were slow this morning, I went back through some of the court documents available and added much to my notes.

For any that have not read them, the links below take you directly to them.

The "Motion to Transfer Seized Property 1" I find to be the most interesting, since quite a bit that was seized within in it was in the search for Sarah is rather questionable.


Court Documents
Original affidavits (4/3 & 4/6)

Child Custody Affidavit

Order for Investigation (Sarah case)

Order for Special Advocate

Motion to Transfer Seized Property 1

Motion to Transfer Seized Property 2

Order Removing Cell Phones

DNA Parentage Testing

Order for Placement of Children

Petition for Protection of Children (filed 4/7, ?submitted late 4/6?)

*********************************

In case any need it, Page links above originated HERE

kbp said...

Thanks Anon

The judge helped to fabricate the EMOTIONAL ABUSE with her Media Doc...

The CPS case workers & spokespersons have spun the SEXUAL ABUSE continuously since they had the Sheriff get involved...

Now the Chief in Charge at the state agency is working to infer PHYSICAL ABUSE...

Looks like they've covered all three bases, just waiting for someone to bring 'em home to score now.

TxBluesMan said...

I keep seeing posts about the FLDS mothers collecting welfare from Texas (not Utah).

Is there any real evidence of this?

I support the removal of the children (big secret there) and the prosecution of anyone that violated the Sexual Assault and/or Bigamy statutes, but I haven't seen anything that supports the welfare claims.

There is enough here to condemn the potential violators without adding charges based on dubious claims of welfare fraud.

Jerri Lynn Ward said...

"I keep seeing posts about the FLDS mothers collecting welfare from Texas (not Utah).

Is there any real evidence of this?"

I haven't seen any, and one would think that the local people would have spoken up about food stamps and the like. It seems incredible to believe that, other than the SS benefits the older people--and ones with disabilities--were getting, these people were getting welfare--especially with a property tax bill like this

Gerl said...

I drafted this last week--relevant news not addressed in media:

Although, I do not believe the FLDS teachings, I share grave concerns on how Texas has taken these children, along with the Baptist’s role.



Read why and see data – as this fact is virtually absent from media reports:



Governor Rick Perry called on “Baptists Child and Family Services” a “humanitarian nonprofit” to command and control the mass shelters now holding the FLDS children. I am experienced in FEMA emergency management, so I now what this means. I reported this to Matt Drudge (Drudge Report) this am; and although, he has not posted anything on it (there are virtually no articles to post) well, now the Baptist’s BCFS page has gone ‘under construction.’ Their main page is still up.



In addition, this Baptist org. offers “foster care and ADOPTION” service too. The state of TX 'outsources' foster/adoption to contracting agencies. Will this ’service’ Baptist organization get these children to foster out too? Yes, read on.



http://www.bcfs.net/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=581&srcid=183



Baptist history of sexual abuse: According to the Dallas Morning News, Christa Brown of Austin, has helped the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) to extend its work to victims of Baptist clergy. The baptist convention has long kept a secret confidential list of pastors believed to have engaged in homosexual relationships or sexual misconduct including adultery or pornography addiction. Pastors can get on the list through a conviction or, in the case of noncriminal activity, a confession or a report from a church.



http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/religion/stories/060607dnmetbaptistabuse.3748e50.html



Ref. web page by an attorney who endured Baptist abuses for years: www.stopbaptistpredators.org





UPDATE: The original web page (now 'under construction) showing photos of the FLDS children and detailing Baptist Children Family Services overseeing the shelters, was authored by Kevin Dinnan, Pres. Since they took down the web page showing them operating the FLDS shelters over these children, I searched and found a Baptist Associated Press article which reveals 5 Baptist orgs. (churches and foster/adoption) involved; the BCFS running the shelters at the request of the State Governor’s Emergency Management Agency and it appears the FLDS babies and children are to be moved on into the Baptist hands for foster and likely adoption...into the hands of Baptist sexual predators?



http://www.abpnews.com/3120.article



UPDATE: APRIL 25, 2008: As I predicted, Baptists take 75 children into foster care:



http://www.baptiststandard.com/postnuke/index.php?module=htmlpages&func=display&pid=7709





We know the severe CPS problems, and considering the Baptist’s sexual abuse of children, why has the state of TX put the FLDS children in their hands? Moreover, why has not CPS and the sheriff raided the baptist homes and taken all their children?




An aside: a review of the State CPS agency track records on caring for children is beneficial.

TX Comptroller, Carole Keeton-Strayhorn, in 2004, found the state’s CPS foster care kids–raped, murdered, poisoned.



She writes:



“When I called on Gov. Perry in October 2004 to create a Crisis Management Team, I said the crisis was minute-by-minute and child-by-child.



“In Fiscal 2004, four-year old twin boys living in the same foster home received medical treatment in the hospital for rape.



“A five-year old boy in the same foster home received medical treatment in the hospital for rape two days later.

“A 15-year old girl who was not pregnant when she entered our state’s foster care system in May 2002 gave birth in February 2004.



“The state is supposed to be protecting our forgotten children, but in all too many cases these children are taken from one abusive situation and placed in another abusive situation. Many children are in more abusive situations now than they were before the state intervened. Children are being neglected and abused and are dying.”



http://www.window.state.tx.us/news/60623statement.html Strayhorn's full report.


* * *

TxBluesMan said...

Anon 10:07PM said:

"and evidentiary [sic] standards are reverted to Perponderance [sic] of the evidence again"

A very accurate post - but to go to the termination of parental rights, the standard is raised to 'clear and convincing' evidence, above the preponderance of the evidence standard, in accordance with the USSC decision.

It was probably inadvertently omitted, but since many are slamming the state for what they perceive is Constitutional non-compliance, I thought we should clear that part up.

lowery.shirley said...

We still don't have a name.
I keep referring to it as the Trail of Tears from Eldorado which would probably be reduced to TOT Eldarado. Does that appeal to anyone?

Kathy said...

I'm usually the first to scream, "Hang 'em!" when I hear about child abuse, but the CPS press releases just don't "ring true" to me. Why weren't the broken bones mentioned in the hearing?

I wonder if you were to take a sampling of another group of 500 children if you would find that some of them had evidence of broken bones also. Kids do break their bones. I had three children. Both of my girls fell and broke their collar bones when they were around three years old and we always joke about my son who, over the course of five summers, broke his hand, his wrist, his elbow, his ankle and crashed his bike and had a concussion. He never got to go to swimming lessons because he was always in a cast.

Also, do any of these children have brittle bone disease which would cause them to break their bones more easily? My inquiring mind wants to know.

Kathy said...

Found it.

Salt Lake City attorney Rod Parker accused the department of putting out "misleading information" to malign the polygamous sect.
Parker said some children in the community have brittle bone disease and that Texas Child Protective Services was informed of that.
"That makes some of the children more susceptible to broken bones," Parker said. "The mothers told CPS about that when they were taken in. They've known all along that the reason they might see higher incidence of broken bones was due to this condition. They have no evidence to support the implication it is due to child abuse."

from: http://www.sltrib.com/ci_9106612

doran williams said...

tx.

Tell us why you support taking children under 14 years of age from their mothers, with no particularized evidence, or even allegations, of child abuse or neglect against those mothers.

Anonymous said...

Jeff said FYI - don't be shocked if girls start heading back before the boys. The boys made this case; the girls haven't talked for whatever reason; its been the boys detailing what rewards the "men" receieve that broke this case.

Is this related? If so, all the more reason for recorded interviews.

Texas officials looking at possible abuse among FLDS boys

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas officials have told legislators they're looking at the possible sexual abuse of some young boys taken from the polygamist sect's ranch.

In a written update provided to lawmakers Wednesday, the state Child Protective Services division says it is looking into possible sexual abuse of boys based on interviews and journal entries.


This is another shady accusation. Were the boys abused by adults or were they abusing each other or what? These vague accusations must be intentional and designed for PR that allows the reader/voter to fill in the blanks.

Kathy said...

I'd like to see the written testimony from every doctor and nurse who examined these children.

I wish I could hear what the volunteers and workers in the camps observed between mothers and these kids. I wonder what they'd have to say.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Kathy, thanks for the info on brittle bone disease.
That makes sense of something else CPS did that has been puzzling me. The broken bones were mentioned at the hearing, but it was strange. They'd had the kids for two weeks and Angie Voss, when asked about it, said there were some 'suspected broken bones.' I thought it was weird that after two weeks, CPS only 'suspected' broken bones. Why not confirm? what made them suspect in the first place? You can't tell by looking at me that I have had broken bones.

That they already knew some fo the children have brittle bone disease makes this statement much clearer!

And if the boys have been sexually abused, then they are at a high risk of being abusers- yet they have let two 18 year old boys voluntarily stay with the younger boys at the boys' ranch where they've been placed.

Anonymous said...

TxBluesMan

Thank you for filling in that blank. You are correct that I omitted it inadvertently.

After reading that, and putting it back into context, I feel it further supports my opinion that the evidence standards are misaligned in these cases. When it matters most, the standards are set to the lowest possible threshold, when it matters least, they are raised.

What I mean by that is, when the allegation of abuse/neglect is at stake, the standard of proof is low. When terminating the rights of parents, the standard is raised, but the facts to be proven are minimal.

To terminate parental rights, the State need only prove (by clear and convincing evidence) that the parent a) did not comply with the case plan by choice b) attempted to comply with the case plan, yet failed, or c) the parent complied with the case plan but in the opinion of the case plan evaluator (CPS case worker) they did not correct the deficiencies the plan was set to accomplish. Two of those three are very easy to prove, and the third is subjective at best. Termination of parental rights has no relevance to actual abuse/neglect. Therefore, parents can (and do) lose the right to be parents not because it was proven that they ever abused their children, but because they didn't or couldn't accomplish a plan that was often designed to be impossible to complete.

Bringing this back on topic, it will be fair to predict the possible plan contents to include an admission of guilt by both parents, a written apology to the children for subjecting them to all of this abuse/neglect, parenting classes, psychological exams, sexual predator counseling, female empowerment classes, extensive abuse victim counseling, divorce from abusing spouses, evidence to denounce their faith because of its teachings, and abandonment of their way of life. (at a minimum)

Given the allegations that the abuse is systematic and cultural, originating generations ago, it will be near impossible for a woman to complete all of her required counseling to reverse the long term effects of her faith. In other words, she won't be able to complete the plan. Men who were not sexual predators will be reluctant to give false admissions of that which was not proven against them, or attend counseling for something they have no need for, thus they will fail the plan. Denouncing their faith and merging into the mainstream culture will be the most difficult pill for them to swallow, and even if they do, the State will conclude that they don't really mean it (because who knows what they will preach behind closed doors in the future). 18 out of 24 months - this is the timeframe established to complete the plan, else termination of parental rights begins.

This case is over already, these children and families are lost, a religion has been attacked and conquered, and it all came about because of laws currently in place (which have been in place but out of sight for nearly a decade) which have been tested in courts of law all across the country every day.

Yes, this is the village written about which it takes to raise a child. The village of government intervention.

TxBluesMan said...

Doran said:

"Tell us why you support taking children under 14 years of age from their mothers, with no particularized evidence, or even allegations, of child abuse or neglect against those mothers."

I don't.

Of course, in the FLDS case, that is not what happened.

The observations of the CPS investigators and peace officers were documented and submitted to a judge, who then ordered the removal of the children.

The affidavits, available online, provide sufficient grounds for removal.

TxBluesMan said...

kathy said:

"I'd like to see the written testimony from every doctor and nurse who examined these children."

I'd like to win the lotto and retire, but it ain't happening.

Be patient, the individual hearings start next month, there will be plenty of evidence coming out then.

It just won't be everything that you want.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Bluesman, that evidence should have been presented at individual 14 day hearings. And just saying there was sufficient grounds for removal doesn't make it so. In fact, that's a lie. There's zero evidence most of those kids were either abused or at risk of abuse, even by CPS' public pronouncements.

If someone had seized your kids with no evidence you'd harmed them, would you be "patient" at this point?

Jerri Lynn Ward said...

"Be patient, the individual hearings start next month, there will be plenty of evidence coming out then."

I heard from an attorney involved in all this that the individual hearings are scheduled 20 minutes apart. Twenty minutes isn't a whole lot of time to either make a case, or to defend oneself.

Anonymous said...

Jerri Lynn Ward said...
"Be patient, the individual hearings start next month, there will be plenty of evidence coming out then."

I heard from an attorney involved in all this that the individual hearings are scheduled 20 minutes apart. Twenty minutes isn't a whole lot of time to either make a case, or to defend oneself.




Don't worry, the legal profession is famous for predicting that something will only take 20 minutes that actually takes significantly longer to accomplish.


If these are individual continued custody hearings, 20 minutes may indeed not be enough. If these pending hearings are Adjudication hearings, they will more likely be named as Adjudication Answer hearings. The parents will be pressured to stipulate to the allegations in order to proceed with reunification efforts, or the parents will deny the allegations and a full hearing will then be scheduled for some time in the future. 20 minutes per hearing will be more than adequate to accomplish either of these goals.

Kathy said...

Bluesman

I want the simple truth - whatever that may be. I'm reserving my judgment until then - provided it ever comes out.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Of course, anon, what you're describing as an adjudication answer hearing SHOULD have occurred at the 14 day hearing, but that was a huge sham.

At some point soon, some judge needs to listen to evidence about each individual kid, and for more than 20 minutes.

TxBluesMan said...

Grits,

We disagree on the sufficiency of the evidence, so I won't address that - our positions are already out there.

As to the 'individual' hearings, that is not what the statute nor case law state. It uses the term 'full adversary' hearing.

The sanction on the trial court for messing up the hearing? Nothing.

They get to reschedule the hearing, but the trial court retains jurisdiction.

So to go back and ask for individual 14-day hearings (which by case law is the only remedy) will just drag out the process, and in the meantime, the children state in state custody. (I can provide the cites if you want) Is that what you want to accomplish, to drag it out even longer?

I was actually surprised the the TRLA filed for a writ of mandamus until I found out that their family law background was somewhat lacking, being predominantly public defense lawyers.

It is faster to go to the next hearings, beginning in a couple of weeks. There will be more of a chance to send children back at that point.

doran williams said...

tx, I thought I had read, saved, printed-out and read again every affidavit involved in this ratcopulation so far, but apparently I've missed the one you read. Please tell me which one it was, the date, the name of the affiant, and where I can access it online. Thank you.

kbp said...

Doran,
The only "evidence"I see that could even remotely be considered to apply to 416+26+ (lost now!)... all of the children would be the religious beliefs it was determined all parents follow blindly.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if this rings true? Of course, I wouldn't be asking if convinced but is it even plausible? The book has many convinced.

kbp said...

The book has many convinced.

Convinced to ignore what she writes or tells potential customers maybe.

Rose Beecham: I became a participant in the household. I was taken under the wing of the head wife and carried out household chores and child-minding. It was a chaotic and depressing environment: numerous sister-wives and children, low standard of living — not remotely like we see on HBO's Big Love — and a high level of psychological and physical abuse, at least by our standards.

...AfterEllen.com: As an outsider, how were you treated?

Rose Beecham: The people I stayed with were hospitable and tried to make a good impression.


It gets worse as you read it.

TxBluesMan said...

doran, I'll try and find it again tomorrow

kbp said...

Birth Certificates show a strategy?
"Likewise, [Dr. Lloyd H. Barlow, a sect member] said, public records would show whether births have taken place at the ranch. He also did not want to elaborate about that issue without a lawyer present.

Births are supposed to be registered in the county in which an infant is born, and, basically, whoever delivers the baby is responsible for the registration, state and local officials said.

Two births from a ranch mother or mothers are registered in Schleicher County, according to the Schleicher County Clerk's Office. The Tom Green County Clerk's Office declined to comment on whether its rolls reflect births from sect mothers.

By late last week, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services had not requested the Department of State Health Services check for birth certificates for children removed from the ranch, said Doug McBride, a health services department spokesman.

All the ranch children weren't born in Texas, and officials felt there would be no official birth records for those who were born in the state, McBride said.

"Early indications are that there were no birth records," he said. "


They did not even bother to ask! They can sense what all believe, how old they are and also whether records exist.

So what is the Texas law on this? If it happened somewhere else, but Texans don't like it, it's still good for a conviction in Texas?

*******

Speakin' about the law of the land;

"This violates Texas values and our lifestyle and the way we see traditional relationships. We are not going to tolerate it."
Harvey Hilderbran, April 27, 2008

kbp said...

"He called to say, 'Let's kiss and make up. We have the same goal and that's to get more federal involvement ,'" Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said of his conversation with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on polygamy .

That should solve any problems, well, that and budget increases!

doran williams said...

Thanks, tx. I eagerly await the link!

kbp said...

Here is one of two guidelines the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services sent to facilities caring for FLDS children.

kbp said...

These links contain the only affidavits I recall seeing;

Original affidavits (4/3 & 4/6)

Child Custody Affidavit

Is there one missing?

doran williams said...

kbp. Maybe one is missing. Lets see what txbluesman comes up with, if anything.

kbp said...

New appeal
"...The only proof of the first criteria was a report of five teenagers under 18 who were or had been pregnant and several other women who had first had children when they were 16 or 17 years old, the court document states. That information came from testimony and a "bishop's record" that listed the names of residents of 37 households, seven of which listed a "wife" at the age of 16 or 17.

"This evidence, regarding fewer than 20 girls, was the sum total of the evidence of danger to the physical health and safety of the over 416 children removed," the attorneys wrote.

A DFPS supervisor, Angie Voss, testified she suggested children be removed from the ranch because of a dangerous pattern and culture of young underage girls marrying much older men. The petition states she had no knowledge of babies being sexually abused, no evidence of boys being physically abused and no knowledge of any males who had conceived a child or had sex with a girl younger than 17."


I must admit that last sentence resembles a CPS statement!


Still one of my favorite quotes;
"When asked whether Voss would consider allowing mothers to stay with their children if they agreed to leave the ranch, she said it wouldn't be acceptable unless they disavowed their belief, according to the petition."

kbp said...

Texas DFPS web site
DFPS Provides Senate Committee With Eldorado Update

kbp said...

Gerl
"...I reported this to Matt Drudge (Drudge Report) this am; and although, he has not posted anything on it (there are virtually no articles to post) well, now the Baptist’s BCFS page has gone ‘under construction.’"

Here are quite a few cached pages that went under "new construction" now.

1


2


3


4


5


6


7

doran williams said...

TXBLUESMAN:

Have you read the post below by kps, quoting from the recent filing at the 3rd Court of Appeals?

We need to see that Affidavit you cited, because of the possible conflict between this most recent filing and what the Affidavit will reveal to be the truth of what was going on. If the lawyers who filed the document have lied to the 3rd Court of Appeals, we need to know that; it needs to be pointed out to everyone reading this blog. After all, not only is lying to a Court a big no-no, but it is intellectual dishonesty which we must not allow to go unchallenged. We have to keep the record straight as to the facts that justify the removal of all those kids. So, please, get the link to that Affidavit to us just as soon as you can.

Thanks for you continuing efforts.

doran williams said...

Wow, I'm so shook up by this seemingly false filing by a bunch of lawyers---I meant the post ABOVE by kbp. So much to keep up with.....

doran williams said...

kbp

The lawyers who filed the appeal you quote from seem to have a transcript. Have you any contacts with them that you can pursue to get a copy of that transcript?

kbp said...

On that new appeal,
and considering the notices for preserving evidence for a lawsuit, one has to wonder if this is a strategy to show evidence that would be of value in a 1983 complaint.

Some here tell how the next step will address the "individuals" overlooked in the 14 day hearing. This appeal looks to make that problem THE reason for their filing.

kbp said...

Doran,

I have no contact, have to be in court in 50 minutes, so best I can do is try to contact them later.

They should be glad to have a copy online if they will share it. I'd imagine it's 2-400 pages though!!

TxBluesMan said...

As far as I know, there were only 3 total affidavits for the search, all of which are available via the links kbp provided.

The other docs have also been linked, either on this thread or other threads, and consist of motions, orders, etc.

Anonymous said...

Curious. what "seemingly false filing"? I don't understand what makes it false.

doran williams said...

Anon 9:39. That was snark aimed at our friend txbluesman. Of course the filing was not false. What was false was tx's statement yesterday in response to my question of him, to-wit:

Doran said:

"Tell us why you support taking children under 14 years of age from their mothers, with no particularized evidence, or even allegations, of child abuse or neglect against those mothers."

I don't.

Of course, in the FLDS case, that is not what happened.

The observations of the CPS investigators and peace officers were documented and submitted to a judge, who then ordered the removal of the children.

The affidavits, available online, provide sufficient grounds for removal.

4/30/2008 04:22:00 PM

tx was full of bs when he wrote that. Probably still is.

Dave In Texas said...

In the affidavits that you've poured over, on page 13 is a litany of statements investigators received from DPFS who had interviewed children at the compound.

One was an 18-yr-old with a 10-month old baby who told DFPS she was 'spiritually united' with a a 33-yr-old man with 3 other wives.

Another girl, who gave her age as 16, told DFPS she is pregnant and due delivery in June - and that she is married to a man whose other wife is 40.

I'll let the lawyers here tell me if that's sufficient probable cause for sexual assault and bigamy. It certainly seems that way to me. And helps me understand why the State of Texas saw a pattern of abuse sufficient to remove the children from potential harm.

Obviously, the mileage varies for many here.

What I have trouble understanding is the absolute clarity many here have in the perfidy of DPFS and the State of Texas and the willingness to virtually discount any statement or evidence presented by the state while accepting without apparent question any statement by the FLDS and/or attorneys for the compound families.

As the hearings unfold and the evidence is presented in court, will soon enough know whether what occurred at Eldorado was systematic abuse of children or a travesty of judgment.

For so many here, you've already decided.

kbp said...

I thought TBM shot from the hip a bit then, basing his position on the yet-to-be-seen Walthers ruling I guess, as we all are guilty of doing at times! ;)

This most recent appeal is going into greater details than the previous filing denied. The original appeal was limited to addressing a 2 page order, of April 22nd, and how it did not meet statutory requirements of section 262.201 (what CPS claims is the authority to remove the children)

The RULING hints that what this most recent filing addresses is evidently an effort to overcome that portion of the ruling (stay) that states; "This order was orally rendered by the district court on April 18 and rendered in written form on April 21... the district 3 court makes explicit findings..." which meet the statutory requirements.

Relying on information from various other sources (FWIW), it seems the 2 page April 22nd order from Walthers was readily available, but NOBODY, including the attorneys, had seen or could get the April 21st order, that MAY have been filed with the clerk AFTER the amended order.

That would be a rather convenient way to cover all bases, if accurate, as it would sure slow down Temporary Stays!

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Dave wrote: "What I have trouble understanding is the absolute clarity many here have in the perfidy of DPFS and the State of Texas and the willingness to virtually discount any statement or evidence presented by the state while accepting without apparent question any statement by the FLDS and/or attorneys for the compound families."

That's not happening. This entire discussion assumes both sides have at times presented skewed or misleading information, which is what I meant to imply with this post's ambiguous title.

However, DFPS opened itself up to disbelief because their statements have not held up under scrutiny. They make grandiose claims in the press that don't jibe with the information given under oath in court. And they manipulate statistics, as in this case, stating with certainty allegations that can't be justified by their own backup data.

Further harming their credibility, the Salt Lake Tribune reported the phone call was a hoax almost immediately after the raid, but authorities STILL haven't confirmed it even though the hoaxer was arrested in Colorado. The Sheriff spoke to the man named in the search warrant - who lives in Arizona and hasn't been to Texas since the '70s - before the raid and confirmed he didn't live st the ranch, but the raid went forward anyway.

So that's my explanation: People disbelieve DFPS because their information has not been reliable from Day One, by any objective measure.

On the affidavits, just to have mentioned it: By any measure an 18 year old girl with a 10 month old baby isn't necessarily a reason to suspect child abuse without further investigation. The age of consent in Texas is 17.

As for the 16-year old cited, you're making my point: DFPS' error was not focusing on those few cases where they might have a chance of substantiating their abuse theory, like that one, and instead seizing every kid at the Ranch, though no one thinks most of the kids were abused. The state is alleging the parents' belief system is abusive, which is an entirely different breed of cat.

TxBluesMan said...

kbp,

I just got through looking at their amended petition, and am left shaking my head at what they hope to accomplish.

Even the case law they cite doesn't really help.

For example, they cite In the Interest of B.T., 154 S.W.3d 200 (Tex. App. Fort Worth 2004) as supporting their request to return the kids to the mothers. But the decision clearly states:

"The trial court does not lose jurisdiction if it fails to timely conduct the hearing. Instead, the remedy for the parents and TDPRS is to compel the trial court by mandamus to conduct the adversary hearing promptly." (B.T., at 207). Another case cited by relators also references the same thing in refusing to return the children based on a 14-hearing problem.

In addition, the main case that the relators rely on, Cochran v Hotz, 151 S.W.3d 275 (Tex. App. Texarkana 2004) is clearly distinguished from the current case. In Cochran, the single, newborn, child was removed from the parents based on the previous termination of 8 other children years prior with no current evidence of abuse. In the instant case, as shown in the affidavits, there were currently pregnant minor children present, a prima facie showing that Sexual Abuse of a Child had occurred, and the Family Code, §262.201(d)(2) provides that the judge may refuse to return the child(ren) when someone in the household has sexually abused another child.

Finally, when they cited Roosth v Roosth, 889 S.W.2d 445 (Tex. App. Houston 1994), they failed to note that this case was distinguished by the same court at In the Interest of R.D.Y., 51 S.W.3d 314 (Tex. App. Houston 2001). There the court indicated that there could be restrictions when "specific evidence suggesting it would be detrimental to the welfare of the child" (R.D.Y., at 323).

I don't think that this mandamus petition is going any further than the last one.

kbp said...

Dave in Texas,

Personally, I have noted uncertainty on statements from both sides, in how they are worded and who the source is. But, the state is where the vast majority of the half-truths are coming from. They are due ZERO credibility at this point.

I can't wait to hear how it was concluded a 5 year old boy with Down's syndrome is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of "sexual, physical or emotional abuse", along with the other 463.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Bluesman, the state seized EVERY kid, not just those in households where abuse was alleged.

TxBluesMan said...

Grits,

It's one household.

kbp said...

Thanks TBM

Looking at so many documents, it's easy to lose track!

I do not recall reading or seeing the actual latest petition, just bits of it in the media.

Could the cases they cite relate to the "en masse" ruling not meeting the requirements for all individuals?

Your explanation of "Cochran v Hotz" leaves me lost some not knowing the outcome (not free online!).

The idea that "...there were currently pregnant minor children present, a prima facie showing that Sexual Abuse of a Child had occurred" (based on "looking"), in a limited number of "households" within the "compound" seems to show an absence of evidence in the other "household".

On the idea there could be "...restrictions when "specific evidence suggesting it would be detrimental to the welfare of the child", that "restrictions" is a bit weak compared to what has happened and I'm not seeing "specific evidence" in all 464 suits here.

While admitting I am very limited on what all I can base my opinion on as it relates to these cases cited and the actual petition, I have seen nothing that tells me this was NOT a wholesale ruling based on the assumed beliefs that ignored the INDIVIDUALS in the suits....

It is becoming a bigger problem to stay on top of all going on in this mess!

kbp said...

define "household"

;)

doran williams said...

Doran: "Tell us why you support taking children under 14 years of age from their mothers, with no particularized evidence, or even allegations, of child abuse or neglect against those mothers."

txbluesman: "....in the FLDS case, that is not what happened."

But tx, that is exactly what has happened. C'mon, show us you have the intellectual honesty and intestinal fortitude to admit it.

There were some particularized allegations: The affidavit of Lynn McFadden talked about "Sarah," the hoaxter, as did the first affidavit of Ranger Long. Ranger Long's second affidavit identified only nine women who appeared -- following administration of the eyeball test by CPS investigators -- to be younger than the age of consent. But other than these, none of the affidavits came anywhere close to alleging specific individual victims of child abuse. And there was no other evidence of that nature at the 14-day "hearing."

You stated "The affidavits, available online, provide sufficient grounds for removal." You shrewdly left yourself some wiggle room here. The affidavits may have provided grounds to support an emergency removal pending the 14 day hearing, but you know damn good and well that a removal order at the 14 day hearing has to be based on evidence at the hearing, not on the affidavits. And with some few exceptions, there was no evidence of specific instances of abuse of most of the children, including all those over the age of 14.

So, why not admit it? You can't escape the lack of evidence on the record. Your refusal to admit that most of the children have been taken from their parents without any formal proof of having been abused, coupled with your slavish acceptance of the CPS party line, and your wiggling, is simply ludicrous. It is also intellectual dishonesty on your part which may be adversely affecting your credibility.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they should just cite USC Title 18 Chapter 50a and the testamony that the DFPS/CPS is presecuting them for the their (so called abusive) religious beliefs and point out that removing all their children is a prohibitted act under the USC (thus the court didn't have the power to allow it). They only have to point out the law was passed so that if religous destruction was even part of the intent (and the testamony was that it is), the act was prohibitted. No one, since from the time the Proxmire Act bacame law, has been ridiculus enough to violate it until now, so there are no prior cases to cite. Unless you want to cite the Nuremburg cases...

The mandamus should come back to the court instructing it to rehold separate trials (for each household and I think the evidence is that there are ~38 of them in 19 buildings) before a new judge, since the previous one couldn't follow the law, enjoin the court from receiving testamony from any person or any agent of an entity whose agent who previously violate USC Title 18 Chapter 50a(a) or (c) in their testamony. That would eliminate all the supposed evidence for most of those families (the CPS/DFPS agents were inciting, a violation of USC Title 18 Chptr 50a(c)). Their kids would be returned to them. That might open the possibility that the rest of the kids could go live at their houses if an agreement could be reached. The pressure would then be on DFPS/CPS to agree quickly to save face.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

One household? With dozens of rooftops, employment centers, a health clinic, temple etc.? Not a chance, Bluesman. Your whole argument falls apart on that point.

kbp said...

We are short a copy of the rulings / orders.

What precisely did Walthers case the orders on?

kbp said...

oops!

...base the order

kbp said...

Great "Timeline" for any that have not seen it.

TxBluesMan said...

kbp,

None of the cases cited had anything to do with an 'en masse' removal.

Mandamus to return the child issued in Cochran, but I have no clue what the final termination results were. It did not stop the proceeding, nor did it bar the trial judge for issuing a new finding for removal. It just said that the trial judge did not have any current evidence of abuse, which is clearly distinguishable from the present case.

"The idea that "...there were currently pregnant minor children present, a prima facie showing that Sexual Abuse of a Child had occurred" (based on "looking")"

Actually it was based on the observations in conjunction with the statements made by FLDS members. Remember, Lee Jessop basically confessed to Sexual Assault of a Child. Several others were specifically listed along with the dates of birth and the dates of birth of their children that showed Sexual Assault.

TxBluesMan said...

doran, if you want to discuss this, fine.

If you want to continue to insult me and say I'm full of male bovine droppings, that's fine too - I'll just have discussions with the others.

TxBluesMan said...

grits said:

One household? With dozens of rooftops, employment centers, a health clinic, temple etc.? Not a chance, Bluesman. Your whole argument falls apart on that point.

Yeah, it very well could hinge on that point.

I of course would argue that with it being one property, owned by one organization, set up as a communal environment, it would be one household.

If, like I suspect might happen, that is shot down, I would point out that the definition of household is everyone within the same dwelling (i.e., building), which means that you would only need 19 separate hearings for the 38 +/- families.

I am fairly confident that most, if not all, of the buildings held either an underage 'spiritual' wife, a pregnant minor, or a minor that had already given birth.

If that is in fact the case, then all of the children removed would have come from a household where abuse had been allowed to occur, which would justify the emergency removal order and the temporary possession by CPS.

doran williams said...

tx:

If, if, and if. You are still doing it; relying upon unknowns and hypothetical situations to bolster your position. You do that because you don't have the facts to support your position. You don't have the grace or style to admit you are wrong on that point. You, like CPS (do you work for CPS or DPRS?) just move on from one mis-statement of fact to another. If your first lie is revealed, you move on to the next. If the basis for your position is demonstrated to be flawed, you just move on to another, similarly flawed and ridiculous position, to-wit:

"I of course would argue that with it being one property, owned by one organization, set up as a communal environment, it would be one household."

"If, like I suspect might happen, that is shot down, I would point out that the definition of household is everyone within the same dwelling (i.e., building), which means that you would only need 19 separate hearings for the 38 +/- families."

Thank you. I could not have made that stuff up about it being shot down. Do you really contend, for instance, that a multi-storied apartment building is all one dwelling?

Please, stay in the discussion. You are so easy to knock down.

Dave In Texas said...

...relying upon unknowns and hypothetical situations to bolster your position. You do that because you don't have the facts to support your position. You don't have the grace or style to admit you are wrong on that point. You ... just move on from one mis-statement of fact to another. If your first lie is revealed, you move on to the next. If the basis for your position is demonstrated to be flawed, you just move on to another...

You're not familiar with the term "irony" are you Doran.

Best I can tell, you pretty much deal in hypotheticals and suppositions and denials. The very things you accuse TxBluesman of.

Neat trick.