Meet the polygamists new and welfare

On the EDge: Talk is cheap, polygamy isn’t – St George News

Apr 5, Former members of polygamist sect led by Warren Jeffs reveal secrets in FBI documents She spoke of seeing shopping carts full of meat and turkeys earmarked The new social structure came about, as so many things do in the way the FLDS allegedly uses women and children as welfare cash cows. Nov 17, As a polygamist community crumbles, 'sister wives' are forced from homes Allegations of child sexual abuse, welfare fraud and child labor trafficking have . Some FLDS women who struggle with food insecurity won't reach out for by the new year so that we can report on the stories that matter in Feb 24, for child rape—over alleged misuse of food stamps and welfare benefits. men, and its practice of polygamy—which splintered Jeffs's group off from the they prey—“the true believers”—the new arrests might have little effect. to look at it as some sort of test that God is requiring them to meet,” he said.

All defendants but Lyle Jeffs are free on bond. Attorneys for some defendants are disputing details of what the government says former FLDS members are saying. Allegations that he might run to a ranch in South America, for example, are simply untrue, his lawyers say.

The stories told by former FLDS members are among more than exhibits filed in support of keeping the Jeffs brothers behind bars as the food stamp fraud case moves forward. Details of life inside the FLDS can be found in excerpts from multiple FBI reports of witness interviews — s in bureau parlance — that place what once was easily dismissed as mere rumor squarely in the public record.

They come from people who had been taught to believe outside law enforcement was the enemy. With establishment of the United Order, the old Phelps elementary school in Hildale, which closed in after the prophet ordered all FLDS children home-schooled, was rebranded as Jeffs Academy.

Sometimes the mass baptisms lasted until the wee hours. One early recruit recalled attending a ceremony in which 26 followers were baptized.

But not everyone was worthy. The documents reveal in painful detail how families were shattered as men and women were exiled or left. Children were shuffled between families and between FLDS compounds. Husbands and wives were prohibited from having sex; foods such as milk and cold cereal were outlawed; movies, television and the Internet were off limits.

Anyone who defied these restrictions faced losing everything. And, according to more than one witness, women and girls were driven to secret FLDS compounds around the country in trailers equipped with portable toilets. Some FLDS children may not even know who their biological parents are. As one witness told the FBI: And so they have. He told the FBI what he overheard left him reeling in shock. This is so special.

FLDS towns don’t use the most food stamps — but they get a lot of money |

They continued long after Jeffs was arrested and locked up. Sex in the FLDS is meant for only one purpose — to produce children. It is sinful for a priesthood holder to derive pleasure from the sex act. Sex with multiple partners or someone of the same sex is strictly forbidden.

The elite live by different rules. Both men have, at different times, enjoyed status as the bishop of Short Creek. Utah's southern border only holds a fraction of the 30, polygamists in the West. Colorado City and Hildale, are separated by a street called Uzona Avenue. Once there were only a handful of families in this desolate area. But then came polygamists to build their "Millennial City'' in By the population had grown to 5, residents, almost all polygamists.

But if certain behaviors create a dependency on the public system, then it becomes a public-policy question that must be addressed'' said Roz McGee, executive director of the Salt Lake City-based advocacy group Utah Children. Attorney Scott Burns explained, "One of the reasons why polygamists have not been prosecuted is because of the long-held belief that they aren't hurting anyone, that they are self-reliant and only want to be left alone. If they're taking welfare to support their large numbers of children, then they are hurting society.

However, more aid comes to Hildale as a community because of the number of children that live in each household. The largest household in Parowan was seven members, while Hildale recorded a household of 37 people receiving food stamps. Deanna Beagley was raised in a polygamist family that included two mothers with 25 children.

Government money and public funds pay for polygamy

When she was 15 two girls told her at school that they heard she was going to be their "new mother. Beagley asked for help from the principal of an elementary school in a nearby town.

In at 24 Beagley lived with her husband and three children on the outskirts of St. She had successfully established a new life. But she grew up on food stamps and welfare.

She said, "I know women out there wouldn't be having as many babies if it weren't for the welfare. I remember being told that this was a work of God and it was up to the outside world to make us flourish. According to federal paperwork, Colorado City is filled largely with unwed mothers without any visible spousal support.

But Beagley said this has become a polygamist tradition, so that no proof exists of their many marriages through public records. Husbands marry only once in a civil ceremony.

Other subsequent marriages are done "spiritually, but not legally. Beagley concluded, "It's a way of life. You get married, you go on welfare, and that's it. He said, "There are people out there who use welfare as an excuse. If you took a camcorder at the till at the community grocery store, just to see how much money rolled across, you'd be surprised how much was real money and how much was welfare.

In an affidavit Hildale's town attorney stated, "There is a large amount of foot traffic in and out of [the WIC] office.

Polygamy in North America

She said, "It's important to note that these families are not getting their benefits through any illegal activity. They are not deceiving the public in an effort to get their benefits. They get their benefits because they meet the legal eligibility requirements. George office of the Department of Workforce Services said caseworkers know what the actual status is of the "single mother'' in Hildale who applies for food stamps.

But they can't deny their benefits. It creates more problems than it solves when you go out and try to prosecute. In earlythe US supreme court declined to hear a case that sought to decriminalize polygamy in Utah. When the members declined to follow rules or pay property taxes, believing the buildings were consecrated to their church, they were evicted.

Fred Richter, 11, and his mother, Norma Richter, in one of their home built homeschool classrooms. The response to the escalating poverty crisis has come from women inside the sect.

Modern Polygamy: One Husband, Chosen by Multiple Wives

Richter drove the Guardian around the dusty back streets on a tour of recently erected homeless camps. Harsh winters and summer desert heat saw them shift gears. An official involved with managing the land trust, Jeff Barlow, said blame did not lie with the trust. Trauma stemming from either being evicted or living under its threat takes its toll.

An aunt who home-schooled her was also evicted, so she has resorted to an online high school study course. Today perhaps only 2, members of the sect still inhabit the community.