Could a deranged woman in Colorado Springs, Colorado call the police and accuse you of child abuse or rape and have the police bring an armed assault force to break into your house and take your children into "protective custody?"
That's exactly what happened this week in El Dorado, Texas. The woman, who has a long history of making false abuse claims, called long distance from Colorado. She claimed to live at the Yearning For Zion compound in El Dorado, Texas. In repeated calls that may have continued for two weeks, she accused her imaginary husband of rape.
And Texas responded in full force. They sent a veritable army. They expected a war.
Hasn't anyone in Texas ever heard of "Caller ID?" And what ever happened to old fashioned ideas like investigation?
Texas had four years to investigate the compound. A simple Google Search would have yielded plenty of information about the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), most important their demand that sect members practice polygamy, illegal under Texas law.
But that never happened. Instead a false claim by a very sick woman has yielded the results that critics of the sect have long desired.
The state removed all 416 children from the compound and are holding them in frankly disturbing conditions. Families are split apart and all children over the age of 4 have been forcibly separated from their parents.
Experts say this will continue for many months. The court today decided to continue the state's custody. And they ordered DNA tests in hopes of proving some children were born to mothers under the age of 16.
It's a pretty good bet that there have been forced marriages and polygamy and children born to young teens. But, lawyers tell me, it's unlikely that anyone will ever be prosecuted. No one is going to jail.
But some children may end up in foster care. And, under Texas Law, the court battles will go on for years and will likely result in many children ultimately returning to their parents, though perhaps not to the compound.
Many of my readers think that's a good thing.
I hate the fact that the State of Texas was unable or unwilling to do their job. Instead, they've made a mockery of the judicial system, and all of us are more vulnerable because of their failures.
The New York Times has an excellent investigative article here.
I encourage my readers to also read a strong opposing view presented by Utah Savage. Be sure to read the extended discussion by her readers. This is an important issue that does involve all your civil rights as well as the illegal activities and the lifestyle of the FLDS.