Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How the raid happened, now proven.

There was a written plan, long before the raid, that was followed. Yes, it was a conspiracy.
"I have written several papers explaining the causes and effects of the Raid on the Church Community where children from a common religion were seized by the state for alleged child abuse. We now know that the State of Vermont fell in line with a written plan devised by (a) renowned anti-cultist. Critical to (the) thesis is that cults are a social menace and deserve to be destroyed and his plan provides the steps just how to do it. With the groundwork laid by anti-cult operatives, the linchpin of the whole plan was to get the authority of the state behind it in order to be able to actually execute the raid. The plan, devised coordination between state agencies, law enforcement and the media who coordinated to execute a 'grossly unlawful scheme' with the explicit purpose of 'destroying the group' and serving as a prototype for use with other minority religious groups in the future."
So is this a claim of a "foil hat" wearing wacko like me, as some claim?

It is the opening paragraph of a comparison paper, between the "Island Pond" raid in Vermont in 1984 (where I now reside) and the YFZ raid, a little over a year ago. I've deleted a few words from the paragraph so as to hide the giveaways that it is largely a claim about the Island Pond raid. When it is said that those who support the idea of a Government "Conspiracy" are loons, it would be good for those doing that pointing to remember, that Island Pond was eventually discovered to be just that. An organized, planned, written conspiracy. The author of the paper is Jean Swankto Wiseman of Chattanooga TN and she goes on:
"Even the basic requirements of the law, the Constitution and state procedures are not followed and there is no doubt that the legitimacy of the states' actions cannot be upheld. Whether or not the state action is legal and sustained, the net effect of demonizing the group and creating 'moral panic' gets accomplished. The anti-cult motive to dissolve and diminish non-mainstream religions, perceived as a threat to mainstream religions, is nevertheless satisfied."
More:
"In both cases the obvious reality was that these two raids were massive and had been planned for months, well before any presenting emergency. Basically the claimed emergencies were a ruse (a clever trick or plot used to deceive others) for a long-anticipated action to search for evidence inside these communities."
And:
"When social workers have no legal grounds for entry and cannot meet the necessary standard, pressure, direct or indirect, can be applied to judges to issue a warrant anyway in the hopes of finding the necessary or desired evidence once inside. Such an approach is illegal. Seizing people or evidence on this basis is called 'investigative detention' and it is unlawful in this country under the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the state constitutions of Vermont and Texas."
And:
"Both cases were premised upon the argument that a particular religious belief is bad for children, but it is a right of parents, protected by the Constitution, to make that call."
There are 84 footnotes, and I'm not even one of them. The "Plan" to destroy the group in Island Park, is also included and compared to the raids on Waco and YFZ. There is also this fascinating little tidbit:
"Interestingly enough, the evidence shows that Flora Jessop is linked to some of the very same anti-cult organizations that proved unreliable in the Island Pond case."


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18 comments:

Toes said...

Fascinating. Thanks for the information.

CTyankee said...

Great post, this Island Pond stuff is incredible. The Vermont judge's opinion on the case is highly relevant:

"A broader warrant can scarcely be imagined. It is for 20 separate buildings, most of which are residences. The authorization to seize "any and all children under the age of 18 years old" is broader in scope (though admittedly less Draconian in purpose) than that of Herod the Great. The directive as to "any and all letters, tapes, writings or records" as well as "any and all photographs" is broader than those condemned by Lord Camden in Entick v. Carrington, 19 How. St. Tr. 1029 (1765) and by the United States Supreme Court in Stanford v. Texas, 379 U.S. 476 (1965).[1]

These four separate aspects (20 buildings, "all children", "all photographs", and "any and all letters, tapes, writings or records"), taken together, created a warrant more general in scope than any which this Court can find, after careful research in the recorded literature. It may, indeed, set a modern world record for generality; certainly, no competitor for that dubious title has made itself known.[2]


http://www.twelvetribes.com/controversies/mahady-opinion.html

Betty said...

The writer of this article is the wife of the #2 man in the 12 tribes organization. It is about as unbiased as a paper by Barbara Jessop. She has been in the organization since at least 1991. Do your homework.

The Pharisee said...

Betty,

In a discourse, motive is important when the speaker is shown to be untruthful. If you say otherwise, you're just shouting in the middle of a wilderness. No one listens, no one cares, on either side, all sound and fury.

IF it is shown that Ms. Wiseman LIES, then her motives are interesting to us all because we can determine largely what she will say about facts, or which facts she selects, based on her motives.

Unless she is shown to lie though, her motives are what they are, the facts are what they are, and we should listen to her.

Additionally, you color the 12 tribes group with a nasty brush stroke. They were shown to be abused, not the abusers.

It is interesting that in your mind the 12 tribes group is guilty of something because of who they were accused by and what they were accused of and because of their unconventional religious belief.

To my knowledge (which is incomplete) the 12 tribes group has only been convicted of violation of child labor laws, the kind of laws that do not apply for instance, to farmers and their families. They've suffered kidnappings and "deprogrammings" by ex tribe members.

I think you mistake me for endorsing the beliefs of the FLDS or groups like the 12 tribes. Beyond their perceived "Cult" status by the outside world, they are very different groups. I doubt they could live together. What I am concerned about is the hatred of such groups by the outside, who cannot, it seems, bear the thought of anyone or any group that is different.

Betty said...

I'm just saying that I would not believe any of the information in this article without verifying it from another, unbiased source. Do with that what you will.

The Pharisee said...

Betty,

What makes you think I had not already familiarized myself with the Island Pond raid?

Betty said...

I have researched the 12 tribes group, briefly, but using both their own and outside statements. I have seen nothing that convinces me of child abuse, but a whole lot that convinces me that they use mind control techniques and that over time they have removed all balances of power (removing council of elders) until they give complete obedience to only one man. Some people would argue, and it has been so judged by various court cases, that refusing to get reasonable medical care for your child is abuse. They themselves say that they do not believe in doctors and that illness like cancers are punishments from God.

I have seen enough to believe that they cannot tell group think from reality. Ergo, I don't trust the woman's statement at all. I suspect that the cult studiers who attended her presentation were more interested in talking to an actual specimen than in taking her argument seriously.

Betty said...

"What makes you think I had not already familiarized myself with the Island Pond raid?"

The fact that you took this article seriously at all.

The Pharisee said...

I think Betty, that what I am asking you to finally concede, is that the parents of the children involved have the right to choose how they educate them.

We, as the outside world have no vested interest until the real symptoms of trouble start. This is not the "warning signs" of trouble, but real trouble.

Murders.

Daughters bearing their own father's children.

Beatings.

Theft.

Actual violation of other laws society has regarding sexual behavior, such as adult/child sexual relations without the benefit of marriage.

Until such things happen I am with Ms. Wiseman whether she is a representative of the "12 Tribes Cult" or not. She says:

"Both cases were premised upon the argument that a particular religious belief is bad for children, but it is a right of parents, protected by the Constitution, to make that call."

She is utterly correct. It is not the job of Austin, Montpelier or Washington DC to decide. It is the parent's right to decide.

We on the outside must confine ourselves to waiting until someone is hurt. There is risk in life and it always ends with death so the idea that we can fix wrongs before they happen in my view is futile.

The BEST CHANCE for any of us, because none of us have a guarantee of happiness, is for us to be LEFT ALONE until something goes wrong.

I find it interesting that as a large organization with an international presence and tangles with the law almost entirely confined to meddling in their internal affairs by the law, that you cast your doubts in the direction of the 12 tribes. They're odd, I don't like them, but their lives are NONE OF MY BUSINESS. They're none of yours either. It should have been that way with the FLDS.

Betty said...

Pharisee wrote "I think Betty, that what I am asking you to finally concede, is that the parents of the children involved have the right to choose how they educate them."

There are no absolute rights. The limits of any right is the point at which they infringe upon the rights of others. The right to the pursuit of happiness ends if your happiness requires the serial murder of your neighbors, for instance.

If the parent's choices significantly impact the child's health, safety or ability at a basic level to be a part of society should they choose to do so, then I think the government not only has the right but the responsibility to intervene just as they would to keep the serial murderer in check.

I think that the CPS system nationwide needs a serious overhaul, but on the other hand, I see children who definitely need to be separated from their parents. Denying basic medical care, nutrition, unreasonable physical force (specially crafted punishment rods???what??), sexual abuse, not educating the child to at least basic norms, etc. all qualify as good reasons for the government to intervene.

I am not arguing for or against intervention regarding the children of 12 tribes. I am certainly more concerned about the children of meth dealers than those in most cults. I suspect from what I read about 12 tribes that there are some real issues, but not enough to justify a raid. I don't think that proves squat about YFZ; each case needs to be analyzed on it's own merits.

I have friends who live in a yoga ashram, and I have visited there for weekend retreats. They give up worldly possessions, wear special clothes and have lots of rules about food and work,etc. It has had some controversy attached with it, although no one to my knowledge has accused them of child abuse. I researched them very carefully before visiting. They seem pretty harmless and happy to me. I think some criticism of communal living is knee jerk xenophobia and living in a commune does not constitute abuse on its own. Assign spouses to 14 year olds and you might have something.

Betty said...

Learning about group dynamics and patterns of human behavior is an important part of building a better society. In the last 100 years or so, humans have started to identify certain patterns of behavior in groups that have a tendency to lead to miseries of various types. Some call them cults, come call them 'new religions'. Some of the same behaviors that cause a Hitler also can cause a cult leader to gain followers.

In the 70's I lived in several communal living situations, one of which was a dangerous cult. Escaping was not particularly difficult since we were in a city; I just walked out when no one was around and took the bus to a friend's house.

I studied the phenomenon to understand both my self and other humans; you tend to ignore or discount the whole phenomenon, but I tell you it is quite real. Mentally healthy people don't go to Jonestown, but they don't start out ready to drink the KoolAid.

I don't think living in a cult by itself is a reason for the police to watch people's homes or suspect them of child abuse. However, take note that the 12 tribes group has had brushes with the law in multiple countries and states regarding child abuse, and one case involving wrongful death due to lack of medical care of an infant. That makes me a tad concerned.

The Pharisee said...

Betty: "There are no absolute rights. The limits of any right is the point at which they infringe upon the rights of others. The right to the pursuit of happiness ends if your happiness requires the serial murder of your neighbors, for instance."

Aren't we agreeing on this?

Betty: "If the parent's choices significantly impact the child's health, safety or ability at a basic level to be a part of society should they choose to do so, then I think the government not only has the right but the responsibility to intervene just as they would to keep the serial murderer in check."

What evidence do you use to determine that a child's "Health, safety or ability to be a part of society" is at risk? It's not demonstrated that FLDS children were unable to function in normal society. When they were dispersed throughout Texas, FLDS members raised in their society functioned rather well.

Where is the constitutional mandate to supervise a subjective enterprise such as the assessment of a person's ability to "function in society?" Doesn't the Government of this country already flunk this test considering the product of our school system?


Betty: "Denying basic medical care, nutrition, unreasonable physical force (specially crafted punishment rods???what??), sexual abuse, not educating the child to at least basic norms, etc. all qualify as good reasons for the government to intervene."

No one is charged with this. I can't fight or discuss myths. If this is going on it needs to be documented and brought as a charge.

Betty: "Assign spouses to 14 year olds and you might have something."

By the time of the raid, neither Texas nor Schleicher county knew of a "14 year old" being "assigned" as a spouse. The only 14 year old so "assigned" has her "assigned" husband already behind bars. The evidence of other underage relationships is that they began in the time frame shortly before or after the change in Texas law that made them illegal or "less legal" than they were before. Again, they were not known at the time of the raid.

If you take the same number of children as were rounded up at YFZ Betty, randomly selected from among society as a whole, and gathered every speck of DNA evidence possible and checked for Adult Molesters of Underage Girls, do you think you'd find less of them, or more at your average High School?

If the average High School has more or about the same number, then I'm going to say it wasn't worth the trouble to go after the FLDS at YFZ. A significant number of laws had to be violated, and a significant number of rights ignored to gain the indictments that were finally obtained.

The Pharisee said...

Betty: "Learning about group dynamics and patterns of human behavior is an important part of building a better society. In the last 100 years or so, humans have started to identify certain patterns of behavior in groups that have a tendency to lead to miseries of various types. Some call them cults, come call them 'new religions'. Some of the same behaviors that cause a Hitler also can cause a cult leader to gain followers."

So it would seem to be your position that the rights our founders gave us were for a more primitive version of Humanity, which has now evolved enough socially that we can do what was meddling in the lives of families now, and benefit them, whereas before, we would have risked destroying them.

What a Brave New World.

Betty said...

"Aren't we agreeing on this?"

Yes, I think we are! Amazing! A meeting of the minds, finally.

"So it would seem to be your position that the rights our founders gave us were for a more primitive version of Humanity, which has now evolved enough socially that we can do what was meddling in the lives of families now, and benefit them, whereas before, we would have risked destroying them."

How you got to that from a basic interest in the study of destructive group dynamics and cults? I said nothing of the sort.

None of the following, by itself, is abuse:
home schooling
religious beliefs
communal living
vows of poverty
being in a cult
dressing oddly
being eccentric
canning and making soap
moving way out in the country
chanting in Sanskrit or Hebrew

One of the problem with cults is that isolation from the outside, while bringing plenty of opportunity for communing with God, also keeps required reporters from noticing abuse and getting you help. We cannot violate basic rights of anyone; but that does not mean we can not learn from the past and keep am eye out for certain kinds of behavior. Just as street gangs are likely to kill people for sport and status, dangerous cults are likely to cause people to turn over control of personal aspects of their lives to a leader who is not accountable for his actions...and that can lead to all sorts of problem behaviors.

The Pharisee said...

It would be my position that the apex of concern, in general, would be the family. On average the success rate of family when it comes to raising children and looking after their welfare is several quantum states higher than that of the Government. Because I am religious, let me offer this ancient observation:

"Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"

Christ is not saying that there are no exceptions, but he is making the general observation that Parents know what is good for their children. He does not suggest that the King or a Governor knows better, in fact before Christ it was said of Kings:

1st Samuel 8: "This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers."

From antiquity, the Bible does not take the position that Government is a group of benefactors, but instead it is a user, and pursues self interest. Contrasted to the general interests of parents, this is not a group to turn to.

The Apostle Paul states: "Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged."

This points out the need to be gentle with Children.

Now, you might say that you do not hold to these standards, and I don't care if you do, or you don't. What I care about is that the Constitution of this country tells me I have the right to my religious belief and my religious belief is embodied in statements such as these.

Either I can practice my religion, or I can't. Suggesting that I can believe this without acting on it is to suggest I don't really have freedom of religion. The idea that I just think this is so but never act on it is a useless sort of belief.

You can see that I, being a proponent of religious freedom, can never accept the idea that government is an adequate steward of my children. The difficulty comes in the exceptions, those that hide behind religious freedom to be the exceptional parent, the one that in general harms their child, as opposed to helping them. Giving government the power to stop the exceptionally BAD parent, gives the very entity judged to be selfish and inferior in it's concern for my children, and possessive in it's regard for my children, too much power to have them. I will not submit to this. I have been told I have the right not to. I have been guaranteed I have the right to resist such interest.

The government can confine itself, thank you, to ordinary laws regarding right and wrong. I cannot murder my child for instance. Until I do something like this, they're going to have to wait before intervening.

Betty said...

Hugh wrote "Either I can practice my religion, or I can't. "

You agree that all rights have limits and then you say this.

Human sacrifice? God told you to blow up the World Trade Center? God told you to shoot an abortionist?

Come on. There's a line. We are arguing about where it should be drawn, not whether or not it exists.

The Pharisee said...

I've already suggested where the line should be drawn. When someone is actually hurt.

Psychic damage is not quantifiable so I'm sorry to tell you I'm not going to recognizing that. The abuse of a particular belief comes under that heading.

Bring me a murder.

Bring me a rape, as defined by law.

We'll prosecute those.

My problem with the alleged crimes of the FLDS is that they required the same sort of fishing expedition search that Island Pond was set up to be.

What I don't know Betty, is why Bigamy/Polygamy wasn't prosecuted. Maybe it's because as a primary crime investigation it would have set up a constitutional issue. If that's the case Texas is admitting it doesn't have a case because the only reason to avoid a Bigamy/Polygamy prosecution that I can think of is the risk of having all the convictions set aside as a result of overturning the laws against Bigamy/Polygamy.

Had Texas gone in looking for Bigamy/Polygamy they had probable cause. The could have demanded and accessed the Bishop's record and have been barred only by the same things that would have barred them from getting it the way they did. Church-State barriers.

Betty said...

"Bring me a rape, as defined by law.
"
With 12 tribes, there was a run in with the law in Sus, France regarding death of two children due to lack of medical care. They preach physical discipline for children and proscribe a hardened switch as a reasonable tool for this, based on biblical references.

It's been done with the FLDS over and over and over. I could fill the character limit of this comment board with sex offenders from that region of Utah with family names, convictions in Utah and Arizona in the last ten years for sex with under aged girls, sex with daughters and step daughters. The dictations of WSJ are quite specific about which young girls were give to which men when. We have indictments for 12 men with DNA, pictures, "marriage certificates". We have young girls with babies who lived at YFZ during the ranch. Over and over and over and yet.....you won't see it.

There are two sides to this problem; how do we gaurantee constitutional rights to freedom of religion, protection from unreasonable search and seizure, etc., while simultaneously protecting the innocent from spiritual leaders who have total control and zero accountability? You see only one side of that, and that makes me question your motivation and your compassion.