Saturday, April 26, 2008

How About Those Pastel Dresses?

Since the entire Texas debacle began, I’ve been reading up on the FLDS. Just Google “FLDS” and begin reading. Also, on Youtube, just type in “FLDS”. You can hear Warren Jeffs teach about polygamy and how to “keep sweet”. Creepy beyond words – he speaks very softly, almost monotone. Below is some of what I have learned. When I first saw the pictures from YFZ ranch, I thought that it looked like an idyllic existence – living off the land, being self sustaining, nature all around you, natural foods……what I found out made me change my thinking 360 degrees. I now think that living on that ranch must be like living in a suburb of hell. Here is some of what I learned from my internet searches.

Those pastel Prairie dresses are hiding long Mormon underwear. The underwear is sacred - like sacred garments - and they can't let ANY of it EVER show - it goes from wrist to ankle under those dresses. The color of the dresses - each man in the compound has a color. The women who are his wives wear his color, so if you see two or more women with the same color on, they are "sister-wives" and married to the same man. Women can be re-assigned to a different man at any time and either take their children with them - or not, depending on the ruling of the prophet. Children are communal. Since all the "sister-wives" live in the same big house, the children all live together too. Some of the confusion about "who is your mother?" at the compound at YFZ was because the children look at all the women they live with as their mothers.

Once a boy hits the teen years, his days are numbered. The women and the men have up to a 6th grade education at best. The boys are then taken out of school and sent to work on projects that take stength and endurance. If you see the land before YFZ ranch was there - and what they did in 4 years time - it's amazing.

The boys work on these projects until their hormones dictate that they have become a problem. At this point, often trumped up complaints against them are brought. Things like getting too friendly with a girl, not being obedient enough to the "prophet", etc. They are then eventually kicked out of the compound. It's not completely clear where they go. I've read stories where the "lost boys" as they are called, end up on drugs, dead, etc. because they have no life skills at all - and they are literally just thrown out.

That's why there were so few teenage boys in the equation amongst the 437 children taken from the ranch. It has been said that with that number of children, the demographics should show a much greater number of teenaged boys.

Now for the really weird stuff. The cult believes that they are a select priesthood. They can only aspire to this priesthood if they participate in plural marriage - this means that a man must have at LEAST 3 wives. Women have no identity except through a man. Their salvation - in the sense of being part of this priesthood community in the eternal future - is totally tied up in the man they are assigned to. No man = no salvation. If you leave the compound, you are taught that you will go to hell. Everyone outside the FLDS are evil, according to them, and will be destroyed in the coming catastrophe that is expected.

I think one of the reasons these compounds are built far from populated areas is because they think there will be a great conflagration and they will be the only ones left to build and populate the new civilization. Of course, the more obvious reasons for building in the boonies is to keep society away and to be able to live the weird way they do and fly under the radar.

One of the phrases both boys and girls are taught from day one is to "keep sweet". That means to obey, obey, obey the "prophet". If you rebel at ALL in any way by not doing what you are told, your salvation is in danger - and you could be punished by being excommunicated and forced to leave.

In Colorado City/Hilldale (2 polygamous FLDS towns on the border of Arizona and Utah), the police are part of the group - and enforce the group's laws. Women who try to leave are brought back to their husbands by the police there. The land in both towns is owned by the FLDS. All businesses are owned by the FLDS. No man or family owns anything. If he owns a business, all proceeds go to the FLDS. If he builds a house on FLDS land, it belongs to the organization. If he doesn't toe the line, he can be kicked out of his house and lose all his belongings, because they do NOT belong to him. The money the church has is in a fund called the UEP Trust, controlled by the "prophet".

So, in essence, the men and women are slaves, the women being brood mares. They are all held in this communal existence by their beliefs which are based in fear. It is all works based - if you don't do such and so, you go to hell.

Sounds like hell on earth to me. The fact that these places exist is fascinating to me in a morbid, macabre kind of way.

The mainline Mormon church wants nothing to do with these offshoots – bad PR. I think Mormons are almost as bad, just on a lower, less threatening way. They too believe in sacred underwear, they will be gods in eternity with their wife/wives populating planets for them (oh the fun of having babies for eternity – obviously a woman did NOT have any input in the making up of this religion). They believe Jesus Christ and Satan were brothers. Oh – and the FLDS? They believe God has many wives and makes spirit babies all the time. Those spirit babies come to earth through the lovely procreation efforts of the brood mares of the FLDS “church”. Here is a cartoon video that shows what the Mormons believe. I wanted to find the Southpark version of what the Mormons believe, but it doesn’t appear to be on Youtube anymore.


Anonymous said...

Ok so does all of this change your mind about what happened in Texas

Susan Humeston said...

No - a violation of constitutional rights is still a violation. I just don't feel as sorry as I did that these people are unhappy now.