Those Crazy Polygamists
Over the last few months, we’ve seen quite a bit of press about the polygamist sect of West Texas known as the FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). They’re an offshoot of the Mormon Church. Their leader Warren Jeffs was sent to jail, the compound was raided so the kids could be “rescued”. Then the kids were ordered returned to their mothers. Reading those stories, I leaned towards the live and let live philosophy, thinking maybe the reports of abuse are exaggerated. I definitely don’t like the government meddling in people’s lives especially inside their homes.
Reading this story made me think what’s so bad about an arranged marriage between a 14 year old girl and a 19 year old boy. Haven’t many societies done that sort of thing? Then I read a somewhat lengthier article here.
While awaiting sentencing on the rape-accomplice conviction, Jeffs tried to hang himself, court records show.
According to unsealed court documents, Jeffs refused food and drink for a month and developed ulcers on his knees from kneeling in prayer for hours.
Then, on January 28, 2007, he attempted to hang himself in his cell, the documents said. In the days after the suicide attempt, while he was on suicide watch, Jeffs on separate occasions banged his head and threw himself against a wall.
Something about Jeffs’ several suicide attempts and general behaviour made me less sympathetic, imagining the fallen prophet trying to kill himself due to overwhelming remorse and shame. The article says there was a
“pervasive pattern” of sexual abuse on the ranch through forced marriages between underage girls and older men.
Maybe there is a much darker side to these crazy polygamists, like with the father-in-law of Big Love’s Bill Henrickson.