Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New Year Revolution

The focus of this blog, will be shifting slightly. Really, what more is there to say on the FLDS/YFZ matter? Nothing I can predict. The CSPD connection to the FBI and the call and the caller awaits press interest. To them, it is "timely" or "topical" and as every delay occurs in what might be the oldest misdemeanor case (still being actively pursued) in El Paso County Colorado, they do get MORE interested. It would seem to our "news hounds" (who like sleeping on the porch) that this degree of delay is, interesting. Once more a reporter has feigned some interest in why a woman who is charged with one of the most minor misdemeanors has an attorney who has successfully delayed the charges against her from 2008 to 2010. How do you plea bargain nearly nothing to anything but nothing? But they're going to wait until it happens.

The shift will be towards legalization, and to that end, I may fold up and throw away the "Vermont Polygamy" blog, and merge it into this one. Two major story lines were a bit much to ask of one blog, but now it seems I have only one major story line, and it isn't our friends in the American Southwest. Does this mean I am abandoning them? No. But there's not much to tell really.

The FLDS trial story goes like this: They did it. DNA proves it. Americans are afraid of/hate polygamists as it strikes at the core of their egalitarian ideal. They want it to be about abuse, sexual deviancy, repression and perversion. They want it mostly to be "icky." So the state of Texas proves paternity with DNA, ogles mutually with the jury the age difference, the inequity and the excess they perceive in the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saint practice of polygamy, they leer at young bodies pawed over by older men, and the larger the age difference, the longer the sentence. The trial and the sentencing are supposed to be about legal pedophilia which is really statutory rape, but they turn into disaffected former member rants about religion and female/male roles and polygamy. The horrified voyeuristic jury goes out to deliberate, and wishes only they had the option to kill the defendants. It's not going to change, it isn't going to get any better.

For their part, the FLDS seem to be running up trial balloons of potential defenses and lining the court record with book marks to be used later in appeal. I feel bad for every FLDS male caught up in this mess. A failure to reverse the verdicts on appeal will result in Allan Keate dying in jail. Your Modern Pharisee loathes prisons, and has a Biblical reason for that loathing. In my experience, prison is an ungodly punishment (never being ordered by the scriptures), it is dehumanizing to guard and guarded alike, and The Bible recoils in horror from the concept of prisons, equating them to hell itself.

The biggest stories coming down the pike are whether or not Rozita will be delayed again, what will happen with Allen Steed, what will the new wrinkle be in the Michael Emack trial, how will the evidence challenge go in February for Warren Jeffs? Judge Conn is a real Judge, perhaps a tad too liberal for my tastes, but he's not a cartoon judge like Barbara Walther. He writes well, he is honest, almost admitting the court lost something or lost track of it in his last ruling. He is disdainful of tricks such as Arizona acting as a proxy for Texas, and claiming that they "don't foresee using YFZ evidence."

So I'm on to legalization. Oddly, it is fellow polygynists who are some of my worst enemies in this regard. A conversation recently with an unnamed member of the FLDS yielded a rather startling insight, provided I understood that member correctly. They don't WANT it to be legal, they want an exception for religious reasons, which may ultimately explain some of the legal maneuvering, or lack thereof. If I understood it correctly, they'd just as soon it stayed against the law, but that the law recognize that those who practice it for religious reasons be given a pass.

It makes a sort of odd sense. Honestly, I don't see how you can BE a Latter Day Saint of any stripe, and not embrace the "principle." The most disturbing fact about the FLDS to the LDS is, that the FLDS are more faithful to the teachings of Joseph Smith than the LDS are, and the LDS are very uncomfortable with them for that reason. For the FLDS, if I am hearing it correctly, they don't see any reason to defend the practice among those who are not FLDS. It should be for religious reasons ONLY, and as with all credible religions, the FLDS see themselves as the "true" religion. I don't see why that should surprise us. They're not going away. Attempts to make the FLDS conform to standards that society sees as "good and moral and righteous" won't work. It's wrong in the first place (unconstitutional) and fundamentalists don't change. This is something theological liberals, agnostics and atheists don't get.

On my side of the street, among Christians (sorry Saints), there is a militant desire to not only practice polygamy, but to have it be a private contract. There's more hope here than with the above mentioned FLDS/LDS offshoot point of view. Most non Mormon Christian polygynists want to run the clock back about 100 years, and simply have marriages be an agreement between private parties with the state playing no role at all in who thinks who is married to whom. That's a pipe dream.

As we watch the most massive expansion of Federal Government in our history, we have to be honest. Obama Care is going to want to know everything about you. Register you as married, not married, living together, match DNA on everyone, parent and child, license who can have children and so on. Oh yes, that is coming. So if anything there will be more and more demanding interest in your family situation than before. When there was no national health care, maybe you could have gone for private civil contract as marriage. It was dicey because of the income tax system. After the Obamanation of Nationalized Health Care, you can forget that noise.

A national health care system will want to "save money" by tracking genetic diseases. They will establish paternity at some point regardless of what you want them to do. Just like at YFZ that will be used to prosecute some "crime," which if nothing else right now, is polygyny itself. Those of you who want to keep marriage off the books, you've lost that battle. I'm sorry. I sympathize and would have preferred that myself.

Here's why you should LEGALIZE polygyny. For the near future, you don't have to actually take advantage of the legal registration of your marriage, but the fact that it is legal, will take the heat off you. There is a creepy FBI connection that keeps getting larger in the YFZ case, particularly if some connections are solidified with the prank caller. The FBI seems to be in love with sex crimes these days, looking for creepy stalkers, old men and pedophiles. Whether right or wrong, they're looking to score in that regard. There are only two degrees of separation between FBI task forces on sex stings, and Rozita Swinton. They seem to be looking in on every high profile case of sexual abuse they can find:
ABC News - "Government documents released today show that the FBI assisted Santa Barbara, Calif., officials in their attempt to get cooperation from a person who could have been a key witness in the 2005 case child molestation case against Michael Jackson: the boy who accused the pop star of molesting him in 1993."
Freedom of information act requests were filed apparently, before Michael was cold, and now we know the FBI was up to their necks chasing down Mr. Jackson. It seems they are looking through every peephole.

Don't take it the wrong way, I'm hardly defending the Gloved One. It's just interesting to see what the FBI is, um, interested in. The only way to make them disinterested is to legalize polygamy, then they have no reason to peer through the keyhole of a man living in a house with five women. Right now, they have. Tony Alamo and Michael Jackson and the FLDS tell us they're going to keep right on doing it.

If you are a "private practitioner" of polygyny, let me warn you about what happened in Texas and how it affects you. When you are investigated for whatever crime you are investigated, bigamy and polygamy will be on the menu. You may try the strategy that FLDS men did. It won't work. What happened in Texas was Child Protective Services simply threatened to terminate parental rights. "Ok," you say, "My wife is a GOOD woman, and it won't matter if the state sees me as a father or not, my wife will stay loyal." Then she will be charged with something. Contempt of court for not testifying, bigamy herself, and so on. Now we have a mom in jail, a non Dad, and an abandoned child. It worked it Texas, and it will work with you, and it's now in the FBI playbook. They'll pass it along to each local jurisdiction and repeat as often as necessary.

Don't forget Project Megiddo. I'm sure the FBI hasn't. I see them acting on that template even today. They see religious polygynists as essentially breeding grounds for right wing terrorism, and frankly, the rhetoric I have been treated to by some of my brethren makes me wonder if they're not right about that. I can see some of my acquaintances holed up like Freemen in Jordan quite easily. I KNEW Randy Weaver, and liked the guy, he's not what you think he is, but he is just a tad too militant. He made himself a target, so did "Freeman" leader LeRoy Schweitzer, who is in maximum security prison until 2018. Fighting the "man" may be a romantic notion, but you usually fight the law, and the law wins. If you want to be a modern day John Brown, knock yourself out. A married man is to be concerned with pleasing his wife. Getting thrown in jail for idealistic reasons, isn't attending to that duty.

So it must be legalized. To that end I have ramped up rather unexpectedly my quarrel with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and I'm making an appeal. FIND SOMEBODY to champion the cause. I've offered myself several times. I'm going to be living in a home with four legislators in it, and I'm in walking distance of the Capitol in Vermont. I'm a registered lobbyist FOR the cause in the state of Vermont. I could register in New Hampshire, and very soon, Washington DC will be a tempting target for legalization, having merely to clear the hurdle of congressional review for their own "Gay Marriage" law. I could devote full time to this pursuit and could easily spend $100,000.00 just running around between legislatures in various states and pigeon holing various legislators. I've collected less than $100.00 and am only registered in the State of Vermont to lobby. You can look here at what attending only one "event" entails.

Make up your minds out there, because I have no need of self styled John Browns and unlike the FLDS who I will continue to champion, I'm not just doing this, for them. Unless they can manufacture some ecumenical love for legalization, ultimately, they're just today's "cause célèbre" and there will be others. The moving finger will write and move on past them.

I have the distinct feeling that a long "fish or cut bait" moment is rapidly approaching in my life. It won't be long until my passion spills out into the aisles of my own church, and I can't tell you what will happen then. I can guess that I will go underground, debating it for the record within the church, or I will be cast out of that church altogether. Frankly, I will be content to go underground and leave the battle to others. For the near future though, it's legalization, to some degree the internal church debate, and regular seasoning of FLDS information, as it hits the fan.

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duaneh1 said...

Hugh, It sounds like to me, the FLDS doesn't want it formally legalized because they and probably many other polyg groups are afraid that open the door for the Govt. to intrude on their lives. For example, say a state recognizes polygamy and requires licenses for each spouse, then they can potentially use that as an excuse to harass or search suspected polyg households, require them to produce their license, pass other laws pertaining to polygamists, etc...

The best solution is simply for the courts to recognize that the right to privacy and freedom of association includes the right to cohabitate with and have sex with whomever you want including multiple partners. As long as you don't publicly refer to them as "wives" or there is no evidence your motives are religious, then no crime can be proven. The problem with the crime of "polygamy" is that it is defined soley on the basis of religious motive, which is clearly a violation of the 1st amendment.
It is especially galling considering moral crimes like fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and "swinging" are no longer prosecuted and any laws against such activities are void because of Lawrence.

I_hate_bigots said...

I think decriminalization is the answer - not legalization.

It shouldn't be a crime to say you are married to more than one person in the eyes of your church. As long as the public knows the relationship is not a legal marriage, there shouldn't be a problem.

In fact, Catholics have their own system of recognizing marriages and divorces. Many Catholics who may have a legal divorce consider themselves still married.

The Pharisee said...


Decriminalization means that they'll drop it down to "traffic ticket" levels. Like certain amounts of marijuana in personal possession.

It's still against the law, and it's still probable cause. YFZ is even MORE likely, not less so.