Governmental power

The Texas Raid on the FLDS Yearning for Zion Ranch

For general information on the raid on the Yearning for Zion ranch, see
Wikipedia, Google, and the New York Times index.

For websites from the POV of the FLDS, see
www.truthwillprevail.org [“Truth will Prevail”],
The “Truth will Prevail” web site gives what appears to be
a sober, carefully stated account of what happened
as seen by the leaders of the FLDS at their ranch.
See, e.g., “YFZ Search Warrant Was Not Obtained in Good Faith,”
dated 2008-12-29.


April 2008 Calendar

Search and Arrest Warrant that triggered the raid
(opens immediately as 21 page PDF file)
Brooks Long, Affiant
County of Schleicher, State of Texas

52 Girls Are Taken From Polygamist Sect’s Ranch in Texas
New York Times, 2008-04-05 (Saturday)


Responding to an accusation of sexual abuse of a 16-year-old girl,
Texas enforcement officers and child welfare investigators
raided a West Texas ranch
founded by the convicted polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs
and removed 52 children, officials said Friday [04-04].

All were girls.
Eighteen of the children, ages 6 months to 17 years,
were believed to have been abused or at risk of abuse
and were placed in foster care by Child Protective Services,
said Darrell Azar, communications manager for
the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Thirty-four were taken to a nearby civic center for questioning,
Mr. Azar said.

There were no immediate arrests and no resistance, officials said.
But state troopers, Texas Rangers
and other investigators with search and arrest warrants
late Friday [04-04] were still inside the 1,700-acre compound,
the Yearning for Zion Ranch of
the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
a breakaway Mormon sect.
The compound is in Eldorado, roughly 160 miles northwest of San Antonio.

An armored police vehicle stood by
in case officers had to be evacuated quickly.
Roads to the compound were sealed off by police roadblocks.

Tela Mange, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety,
said an undisclosed number of people, but fewer than 10,
were named in the arrest warrants.
Investigators with the department, Ms. Mange said,
“were able to talk to the folks they wanted to talk to.”

Mr. Azar said the raid, which began late Thursday [2008-04-03],
stemmed from

a complaint to child and family services on Monday [2008-03-31]
a 16-year-old girl at the ranch
had been sexually and physically abused.

On Friday [04-04], he said,
child welfare investigators workers “legally removed” 18 girls
and transported 34 for questioning to the civic center.

“We haven’t talked to any boys yet,” he said.
“We will be interviewing boys, too.”

Mr. Azar said the girls were removed “because
we had reason to believe they had been abused
or were at immediate risk of future abuse.”


Additional Children Removed at Polygamist Ranch in Texas
New York Times, 2008-04-06 (Sunday)

Focus of a Raid in Texas Was Living Out of State
New York Times, 2008-04-08 (Tuesday)


A 50-year-old man sought for arrest on a sexual abuse complaint
that Texas authorities said had led them to raid a polygamist compound here
is not in hiding
but living in Arizona with three women and their 22 children
and disavows any role in the case,
his probation officer said Monday.

The officer, Bill Loader of the Mojave County Probation Department in Arizona,
is in daily contact with the man, Dale Barlow,
a plumber and carpenter who lives in Colorado City, Ariz., he said.
Mr. Loader said he found Mr. Barlow’s denials credible
and knew of no efforts by Texas authorities to seek his extradition.

A spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, Tela Mange,
said Monday at a briefing in San Angelo that
the department had received reports that Mr. Barlow
“may be outside of the state of Texas,
but we have not been able to independently confirm that.”

The only arrest in the case was that of a man detained Sunday or Monday
on misdemeanor charges of interfering with police operations,
Ms. Mange said.

Mr. Barlow, on probation for fathering a child with an under-age girl,
now one of three women he calls his wives,
did not respond to numerous messages left on his home voice mail.
“He doesn’t trust the outside world,” Mr. Loader said.

The conflicting accounts raised further questions about
the basis of the large-scale law enforcement crackdown on the secretive compound,
the Yearning for Zion Ranch
of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
a breakaway sect not recognized by the Mormon Church.

Even as Texas authorities removed more children from the ranch on Monday,
for a total of 401 so far,
Ms. Mange said
they had not identified the girl at the center of the abuse accusations.
She described her as a 16-year-old
whose telephoned accounts of her treatment set off the raid,
which began Thursday [04-03] afternoon.

In two telephone calls last week, Texas authorities said,
the girl reported that, in violation of Texas law,
she had married Mr. Barlow and had a child with him.

An arrest warrant for a man identified as Dale Barlow
named the 16-year-old girl and said she had a daughter about 8 months old.
The warrant authorized officials to look for
any documents and photographs relating to Mr. Barlow and the girl,
as well as all computer records at the ranch.

A date of birth given for the suspect was the same as that for
the Dale Barlow who lives in Colorado City.
The warrant was first obtained by The San Angelo Standard-Times.

On Monday,
investigators spent a fifth day searching the 1,691-acre West Texas compound
and announced that a judge had now approved
the removal of 401 children for possible foster placement,
pending court hearings,
because of suspected abuse or neglect.

Texas law officers and caseworkers with Child Protective Services
are nearly finished
but continue to search for any remaining children at the ranch,
said an agency spokeswoman, Marleigh Meisner.
Ms. Meisner said 133 women who chose to leave the compound
to accompany the children to caseworker interviews at shelters
were are cooperating with investigators but were free to leave.

The failure to locate the 16-year-old girl has been troubling,
officials acknowledge.

“We’re always concerned every time we have a victim and we can’t find that victim,”
Ms. Meisner said.
But she said,
“I am confident that this girl does indeed exist,
and I am confident that the allegations that she brought forth
are accurate.”

“Many of them have the very same name,” Ms. Meisner added.
“The information has been sketchy.
We have had somewhat cooperation from them at the ranch,
but the situation at times has been tense.”

Mr. Loader, the probation officer,
said Mr. Barlow visited his office last week to report that
he was being sought in the Texas case and to protest that
he did not know the girl named and
had not been in Texas since 1977.
He pleaded guilty to the sex charge in Arizona in April 2007,
served 45 days in jail and as part of his probation
had to seek permission to leave the state, Mr. Loader said.

“He has abided by conditions of probation to the letter of the law,”
Mr. Loader said.
“As far as his performance we know of, it’s been exemplary.”

He said Mr. Barlow was living with his first wife and two other women —
including the 16-year-old, now 25,
with whom he was convicted of engaging in sex —
and their 22 children,
“and reports in daily by phone and once a week in person.”

Warren Jeffs, the leader of the polygamist group,
was sentenced last November in Utah to 10 years to life in prison
for forcing a 14-year-old girl to marry her 19-year-old cousin
and to submit to sexual relations against her will.
Mr. Jeffs is in jail in Arizona awaiting trial on separate rape charges
involving the arranged marriages of two teenage girls to older relatives.

Court Files Detail Claims of Sect’s ‘Pattern’ of Abuse
New York Times, 2008-04-09 (Wednesday)


Texas authorities released court documents on Tuesday
detailing accusations of
a “widespread pattern” of physical and sexual abuse of children
by a polygamous sect.

The accusations led to a raid that began on Thursday [04-03]
at their compound in a remote area of West Texas
and the removal of 416 children.

Texas state troopers and child welfare investigators executing a search warrant
started the search for a 16-year-old who called to tell of abuse
at the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado.
Leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-day Saints,
a breakaway sect not recognized by the mainstream Mormon Church,
own the ranch.

The girl who made the call has not been found, the authorities said.

The children
and more than 100 adult women who elected to leave the ranch
to be their caretakers
are being housed at the Fort Concho historic site here.

An affidavit released on Tuesday says

the 16-year-old repeatedly called a local family violence shelter
asking for help to leave the ranch.
She said that
she had been taken to the ranch three years before by her parents
and that
when she was 15 she was forced into a marriage
with a man who was then about 49,
becoming his seventh wife.

The girl said the abuse began shortly after she moved to the ranch,
the court papers say.
She added that
the man would force her to have sex with him
and beat her when he became angry.

The last time he beat her was on Easter, she said in the papers.

The girl, whispering into someone else’s cellphone,
told the authorities that she thought she was several weeks pregnant,
the papers say.
She said that
she was not allowed to leave the ranch other than to receive medical care,
but that the man had left the ranch for a while
to go to “the outsider’s world.”

A lawyer for the sect declined to comment on Tuesday.

The authorities have determined that the suspect,
identified in the original search warrant as Dale Barlow,
had been indicted in Mohave County, Ariz.,
on criminal charges of sexual conduct with a minor
in connection with a reported marriage.

The man struck a plea deal, had the charge dismissed,
served 45 days in jail and was given three years’ probation.

His probation officer said Monday that Mr. Barlow maintained that
he did not know the girl and that
he had not been in Texas in 30 years.

“YFZ Ranch and church members had told her that if she tried to leave,
she will be found and locked up,” the affidavit states.

Church members also reportedly told her that outsiders would hurt her,
force her to cut her hair and wear makeup and “have sex with lots of men.”
The girl also said
her parents were preparing to send her 15-year-old sister to the ranch
from outside the state.

At the end of the call,
she began crying and
“then stated that she is happy and fine
and does not want to get into trouble
and that everything she had previously said should be forgotten.”

[What a clever, clever liar.
Like so many others of those pushing political correctness.]

Based on that account,
investigators entered the compound
and found a number of young teenage mothers who appeared to be minors,
some of them pregnant and some already with infant children.

“Investigators determined that
there is a widespread pattern and practice among the residents of YFZ ranch
in which
minor female residents are conditioned to expect and accept sexual activity
with adult men at the ranch
upon being spiritually married to them,”
the affidavit states.

Because of this “pervasive pattern of indoctrinating and grooming” girls
to accept these spiritual marriages and bear their husbands’ children,
the authorities found all the girls to be in danger of abuse.

Boys also are forced to marry under-age girls,
“resulting in them becoming sexually perpetrators,”
and are in danger of abuse themselves, the affidavit said.
The affidavit was the basis for obtaining a judge’s approval
to take custody of the children.

Child welfare investigators also found evidence that
children had been deprived of nutrition
and forced to sit in closets as a punishment,
court documents indicate.

Carolyn Jessop, author of a book, “Escape,”
fled the sect’s historic home base
in the twin cities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., in 2003
to escape a polygamous marriage.

Ms. Jessop said she believed that her former husband, Merrill Jessop,
was leading the Eldorado group
after the conviction and jailing of its well-known leader, Warren Jeffs.
Mr. Jeffs was convicted last year of being an accomplice to rape
for forcing a 14-year-old to marry her cousin.

“Those girls are terrified,” said Ms. Jessop,
who traveled to Eldorado
in an unsuccessful effort to speak with her stepdaughters.
“They don’t think these people are there to help them.”

The authorities made two arrests in searching the compound,
but have not charged any member with a crime relating to the abuse accusations.

On Sunday, Levi Barlow Jeffs, 19,
was arrested for interfering with the duties of a public servant.
Leroy Johnson Steed, 41, was arrested on Monday
on a felony charge of tampering with physical evidence.

Officials Tell How Sect in West Texas Was Raided
New York Times, 2008-04-11 (Friday)


For years,
the veiled world behind the doors of
a fundamentalist Mormon polygamist temple
tantalized local imaginations in the Hill Country south of here.

On Thursday [04-10],
a Texas ranger described in detail what occurred last week
when law enforcement officers,
responding to a call for help from a 16-year-old
who said she was being sexually abused in the compound,
sought entry.

In essence,
Capt. Barry Caver of the Texas Public Safety Department
said at a news conference here,
the officers knocked and asked for a key.
The church members quietly said no.

“They opted not to do that because
they would be aiding or assisting us
in the desecration of their worship place,”

Captain Caver said.

The authorities called in a locksmith to open the gate,
but they were unable to move the deadbolts
to open the front doors of the temple.
They tried to use a “jaws of life” tool,
normally used to remove people trapped in cars after accidents,
to open the doors.
But the doors were too tightly constructed, Captain Caver said.

Finally, a SWAT team was called to apply brute force.
As the team broke down the doors,
about 57 men from the church stood in a circle around the building
to bear witness,
Captain Caver said.

The sect members sank to their knees in prayer, some sobbing,
and one young man rushed to intervene.
He was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of interfering with a public servant
but has been released on bond.

Inside, the three-story temple
held hints about possible under-age marriage rites,
but no answer to what had happened to
the 16-year-old who called the authorities.
The authorities found shredded documents,
but could not determine when they had been destroyed.
The state also found beds on the top floor of the temple,
where authorities suspect that older men had sex with under-age girls,
court documents released on Wednesday said.
In one rumpled bed, authorities found a long strand of hair,
the affidavit states.

[At one time, perhaps even today,
women sometimes asked to lie down when they were tired, exhausted, out of sorts,
or for whatever reason they might have.
Is it beyond the imagination of our PC types today
that women might still desire to lie down,
for the same innocent reason?]

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or F.L.D.S.,
which bought the ranch in Eldorado, about 45 miles south of here, in 2003,
is mostly concentrated in southern Utah and northern Arizona.
Law-enforcement officials say the group, which has perhaps 10,000 members,
broke from the Mormon Church more than a century ago and has no link today.

Sheriff David Doran of Schleicher County said at the news conference
that he had been allowed inside the ranch gates several times,
but that each time
the authorities were allowed to meet with just a few leaders of the group
while the rest of the sect stayed out of sight.

Sheriff Doran said he and other authorities
were aware that the group had practiced polygamy
and that some members had been convicted of “marrying” under-age girls
in Utah and Arizona.

The sheriff said
he was never able to see evidence of those activities on his visits.

“This group does not talk openly,” he said.
“You can only press someone so far without a court order.”

Sheriff Doran said that
the authorities “may very well” have the 16-year-old caller in custody,
but that she had not come forward to identify herself.

A spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Marleigh Meisner,
said in a telephone interview that
investigators had completed one-on-one interviews
with all the young people taken in the raid
and did not have a definitive answer.

“It may take some time for her to come forward,” Ms. Meisner said.

In the raid,
416 children were removed and placed in temporary state custody
on suspicion of being abused or under the threat of abuse or neglect;
139 women voluntarily left the ranch to care for them.

The women and children are at
the Fort Concho National Historic Landmark
and other temporary shelters in San Angelo.

The man originally named in the arrest warrant
as suspected of sexually abusing the girl
immediately reported to his probation officer in Mohave County, Ariz., last Friday
and said he had never met the girl
and had not been in Texas in more than 30 years.

Until the authorities find the girl,
they will not be able to determine whether
she was referring to a different man who may live at the Texas ranch,
Captain Caver said.

In their search of the ranch,
troopers used cadaver dogs to look for unmarked graves but did not find any,
Captain Caver said.

Previously, leaders of the ranch had told the authorities that
200 to 300 people lived at the ranch,
far fewer than the number encountered.

With most of the women and all children removed,
50 to 60 men and older women are now at the ranch, Captain Caver said.

Criminal charges in the abuse case have not been filed, he added,
and the sect members are free to leave the ranch if they wish.

Texas Polygamy Raid May Pose Risk
New York Times, 2008-04-12 (Saturday)


The Texas authorities say
the raid here was prompted by
a 16-year-old who called on a cellphone from the compound in a cry for help.

But the raid’s scale — 416 children were removed, making it
the largest raid in more than a half century in the West
and the fact that the 16-year-old has not been identified,
has sharply eroded trust in the government among polygamist groups,
according to law enforcement officials in several states.

“They were reaching out, opening up,” Mark L. Shurtleff,
the attorney general in Utah,
[Who just happens to be running for the Senate in 2010.]
said of the polygamist communities.
“Now they’ve kind of pulled back.
Everybody’s going to wait and see how this thing plays out in Texas.”

Mr. Shurtleff,
a Republican who has led rescue and prosecution efforts in his state,
emphasized he was not criticizing the authorities in Texas;
a complaint came, he said, and officials had to act.

[Apparently Mr. Shurtleff is too trusting
to admit the possibility of a hoax,
or that some complaints may not be reality-based.]


Mr. Shurtleff has become deeply identified with the polygamy issue,
taking his advocacy even beyond Utah’s borders.

Last month,
he spoke to a group of civic and business leaders in Austin, Tex.
He was accompanied by a former child bride
from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
which owns the ranch here.

Mr. Shurtleff’s message was that polygamy had victims.

When it was over, Mr. Shurtleff said,
more than a few people promised to help.

“They and their wives were saying,
‘I know this person, this legislator,
and I’m going to use our influence,
to try and get something done over there,’ ”
he said.

Mr. Shurtleff said he had no idea
whether that day in Austin influenced the events of last week,
700 state law enforcement and child welfare officials
arrived here and surrounded the Yearning for Zion ranch,
as the F.L.D.S. compound here is called.

Mr. Hilderbran, the legislator, said
he was unaware of any recent pressure to take action
beyond the girl’s call.


In Eldorado, a dusty and remote spot in the Hill Country
where goat herds line the sides of the road
and free-range chickens are not just a description on a supermarket package,
tolerance for the secretive sect members — mixed with suspicion —
seems to have been the norm.

The newcomers kept to themselves,
neither giving to the community nor asking much in return.
But that is a trait most people here respect,
no matter the rumors of what went on behind closed gates.

“They haven’t bothered anybody,”
said Jerry Swift, a sheep, goat and cattle rancher.
When they came to Eldorado to buy supplies, which was rare,
the men dressed in work clothes, “not any differently than us,”
Mr. Swift said.


Separated From Children, Sect Mothers Share Tears
New York Times, 2008-04-16 (Wednesday)

Mothers separated from their children
after the police raid on a polygamist compound in West Texas
have spoken out for the first time,
denouncing the authorities in tear-filled accounts.

The interviews, with reporters invited to the compound,
the Yearning for Zion ranch in Eldorado, Tex.,
about three hours northwest of San Antonio,
made a powerful public relations salvo on Tuesday,
two days before a court hearing in San Angelo, Tex.

The hearing may decide the custody of more than 400 children
whom the state took into custody in the raid.

“I’m not going to just sit and wait,” said Monica,
who like all the interviewees gave just a first name.

“I have to do something every day to let them know that I want my children back,”
she said in a video on The Deseret News Web site in Salt Lake City.

Kathleen said she and the others were setting the record straight,
that children in her community are not abused.

“The world has been so prejudiced against us,”
Kathleen said in an interview with CNN posted on YouTube.com.
“They have a false image.”

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services,
which has temporary custody of the children, responded on its Web site.
Mothers from the fundamentalist sect, the statement said,
“have been unable to protect these children from abuse.”

On Monday,
the agency moved many of the children to the San Angelo Coliseum,
separating older children from their mothers,
most of whom returned to the compound, about 45 miles away.

“It was absolutely necessary,” the agency said.
“Investigators will never learn the full truth
as long as adults who encourage a code of silence
are standing over these children’s shoulders.”

State officials, who are spending more than $25,000 a day on care,
including medicines, food and shelter,
have repeatedly said they think that children were abused at the ranch,
which the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owns.

The officials said
they were prompted by a cry for help from a 16-year-old girl at the ranch
who said she had been physically and sexually abused by her husband, 50.
The girl has not been identified,
though officials have said they think she is in custody.

In their interviews, some women from the sect
said officials had lied to them in breaking away mothers from their children.

“ ‘It’ll just be a few minutes then you can come back,’ ”
Marie said through tears on a video on The Deseret News site,
quoting the officials.
“They took us back in another room.
When the door shut, oh,
probably 50 policemen came out from behind and stood there all around us.

“And a lady read a court order and said:
‘You are to leave this building. Your children are ours.’
I said, ‘Can’t I even tell them goodbye?
I told them I would come back in there.’ ”

The fundamentalist church,
with an estimated 10,000 members, mostly in the Southwest,
split off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
more than a century ago.
The main branch of Mormonism, based in Salt Lake City,
with 13 million members worldwide, denounced polygamy.

Offshoots continued the old ways, and bitterness between the two runs deep.

“All the polygamists all over the world are up in arms over this,”
said Marvin Wyler, a polygamist and former sect member in Colorado City, Ariz.
“How can they not be, seeing children taken from their parents?”

Mr. Wyler, 63, who has two wives, 63 and 58,
said he knew what it was like to be separated from parents by the state.
He was taken from his family in a 1944 police raid in Utah,
and his father went to jail and his mother to a mental institution,
he said.

Arrest Warrant for Rozita Swinton
(PDF file: will open as 13 page PDF file)
Terry E. Thrumston, Affiant
District Court, County of El Paso, State of Colorado
dated 2008-04-16

Busy Day at Court Handling Sect’s Children
New York Times, 2008-04-18 (Friday)


Some lawyers complained heatedly to Judge Barbara Walther
that the mass hearing,
radically different from a typically intimate Family Court custody session,
was unfair and benefited the state.


At the hearing, state officials said
they had not located the 16-year-old girl
whose phone call to an abuse hot line, they said,
prompted the raid.

A state investigator, Angie Voss, testified that
at the ranch several girls had said they knew the caller,
who had identified herself as Sarah.
But they were uncooperative under further questioning, Ms. Voss said.

The broad task faced by Judge Walther is to determine
whether the children at the ranch were abused or at risk of abuse.
If so, who were they?
Was there a pattern of endangerment and under-age marriages
that would make the community’s culture itself a danger to the children
if they were returned to their parents?

The difficulty of that task is compounded
by confusion over how nontraditional families function,
with one child raised by many “mothers,” all married to the same man,
and a complex tangling of sibling lines.


The subtext of much of the case is
whether individual behavior or group behavior is under the microscope.

One lawyer, Tom Vick, who is part of a state judicial effort
to recruit volunteers to represent the children,
said outside the courtroom that he thought membership in a polygamist sect
was not the issue.

“People want to look at this as a religion thing or a polygamy thing,”
Mr. Vick said.
“It’s about child abuse.”

Legal experts who are closely watching the case say the line is not that clear.

Several experts said that in a closed community like this one,
where some families might practice under-age marriage while others do not,
establishing harm or risk of harm, key threshold questions for the court,
could well mean putting the culture itself on trial.
But the experts said the state could never acknowledge that in court
because it would clearly touch on issues of religious freedom.

Texas Polygamy Case: Based on a Hoax?
Greta van Susteren interviewing Flora Jessop
FoxNews On-the-Record, 2008-04-18

[There is first-hand information here about
the pre-raid communications between Rozita Swinton and Flora Jessop,
so it is included in its entirety.
The emphasis is added.

If you go to that article,
you can click on a link and see and hear the interview
(about five minutes, with a short preceding commercial).
If you do that in a separate window,
you can listen to the interview while reading the text here.]

This is a “FOX News Alert.”
The fate of the FLDS children, 416 of them,
taken from a Texas polygamist compound has been decided,
at least temporarily.
A Texas judge ruled that all 416 children will remain in state custody
and will be subject to DNA testing.
Individual hearings will be set for the children over the next several weeks.

Now, the news tonight,
33-year-old [Rozita] Swinton just arrested in Colorado
for filing a false police report,
pretending to be an abused girl locked in a basement.
But it gets even more bizarre.
Who else has Swinton been calling?
Swinton has many, many times called Flora Jessop,
a former FLDS church member
who now runs a rescue mission for teen girls trying to escape.

Flora joins us live in Arizona. Flora, welcome.
And when was the first time you got a call from Rosita?

I first got a call on March 30,
about 8:30 in the morning,
from what I presumed to be
a young girl that claimed to be 16 years old in Colorado City.
She gave me addresses in Colorado City that she was presumably in.
And it's interesting for me to hear that she was arrested in Colorado
for claiming to be a 13-year-old girl locked up in a basement
because that's one of the claims that this girl had made to me
about Colorado City.
She claimed that she was being sexually abused by her father.
She claimed that she was the twin sister of the girl, Sarah, who was in Texas.
She claimed that she was supposed to be being sent to Texas
a month after being married.
Just a number of things.

Are you -- this phone call that you received on the 30th,
do you think or know or suspect that this is Rosita Swinton
or is it still up in the air, in your mind?

the call that I received on the 30th was definitely the same person
that I've been speaking with for the last two weeks.

Prior to the 30th.
Prior to the 30th.

Prior to the 30th?
I didn't speak to her prior to the 30th.
I received the first phone call on the 30th.

OK. I got it.

And then for the next two weeks, I received phone calls from this person.

Now, in the course of the search warrant that the state used to go into the --
to conduct the raid,
they mentioned the name Dale Barlow,
or at least in a court hearing.
Do you know where that name came from?

I'm not sure where that name came from,
except it was from my understanding that
the girl that made the initial call to Texas
had mentioned that she was married to a Dale Barlow.
Now, at one point during my conversations with the girl I was speaking with,
I had actually asked her and confronted her with that information and said,
If you're the twin sister of Sarah, Sarah is in Texas,
Dale Barlow is in Colorado City,
things don't add up here.

And she said,
Well, can we pretend?
And I said, yes, we can pretend. And she said,
Well, then let's pretend that when Sarah called,
she couldn't tell the name of her husband because then she would be hurt worse.
So Sarah actually used the name Dale Barlow
because Dale Barlow was hurting her twin sister in Colorado City.
And I said,
So are we pretending that
Sarah was trying to get help for both Sarah and Laura
because they were both being hurt?
And she said, yes, let's pretend that.
I asked her, I said,
Can we pretend that Dale Barlow is Laura's (ph) -- the twin sister's new dad?
And she said, No, let's not pretend that.
And she was very elaborate in her ruse, very well rehearsed.
It's my understanding she was caught with --
when they went into her apartment,
that they found reams and documents
and just tons of information on the FLDS.

OK, so here's what I don't get.

If it didn't add up to you, this Dale Barlow,
and you were suspicious,
do you have any theory
why it didn't add up to the Texas authorities
before they went to a judge and got a warrant and went in?

If you were suspicious, as a non-law enforcement, why --
you know,
why didn't they have some suspicion that this was a hoax?

You know, Greta,
she was very convincing.
Obviously, she's been doing this for a long time.
I would like to point out that the system absolutely worked in this case.
When --
as hotlines get calls from children purporting to be abused, just as I do,
it's not my responsibility and my job
to decide whether those calls are legitimate.

VAN SUSTEREN: No, it's the state.


JESSOP: ... Over to the proper authorities. They go and investigate.

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm not critical...


JESSOP: The system absolutely worked.

Flora, I'm not the least bit -- you know, I understand exactly.
And that was what you should do if you get a call.
You should turn it over.
What I don't understand is that
if you were suspicious of it
and turned it over to the people who were supposed to be investigating it
and they weren't suspicious,
and it turns out to be a hoax, that's unusual.


It's very unusual that a hoax is carried out to this proportion.
And that just goes to show how smart
or how much this woman has done this type of thing.

I think she's very disturbed and I hope she gets help for that.
But I also, in a little bit of a way,
want to give her a hug
because she's protected hundreds of children from the abuses,
the widespread systematic abuses they were suffering in this group.

Except for, just as an aside, is that --
I mean, at least as far as we know, what's being reported tonight,
at least from lawyers who represent them,
that we're talking about five people,
which is less than 1 percent of the 400 that are seized.
But a lot of investigation still to go on.
Flora, thank you, and I hope you'll come back.

JESSOP: Thank you, Greta.

Was the Call That Sparked the Eldorado Raid a Hoax?
by Robert Wilonsky and/or Jesse Hyde
Dallas Observer blog, 2008-04-18


I just hope law enforcement has more evidence than a phone call
to remove hundreds of children from their parents
and to further tax a woefully underfunded child welfare system
that is already stretched to the breaking point.
I hope that the actions officials in Eldorado have taken
will not undo the progress law enforcement in Arizona and Utah
have made in recent years in ferreting out actual claims of abuse
within polygamist communities in those states,
where prosecutors understand that to prosecute a claim of child abuse
you have to, at the least, have an actual victim.

Sect’s Children to Stay in State Custody for Now
New York Times, 2008-04-19 (Saturday)

[This is the first article in the Times
which mentions Rozita Swinton,
or the possibility that
the call the authorities have repeatedly cited
as their reason for launching the raid
was a hoax.]


questions about the raid itself and what prompted it
have continued to deepen as well,
even as the first round of hearings was resolved.

On Friday, the Texas Rangers said in a statement that
they were investigating a Colorado woman, Rozita Swinton, 33, as a
“person of interest”
in calls placed to a crisis center hot line here in late March.

The authorities have said they launched their raid
after a girl’s phone call to an abuse hot line.
They said that she gave her name as Sarah and that she said she was 16,
pregnant and being abused by her 50-year-old husband.
But they have been unable to locate the girl after two weeks,
and the F.L.D.S. families have said they think the call was a hoax.

The police statement on Friday said
items found in Ms. Swinton’s Colorado Springs home
through a search warrant
“several items that indicated a possible connection between Swinton
and calls regarding the F.L.D.S. compounds.”

Ms. Swinton has an unlisted number,
and other efforts to reach her were unsuccessful.


An Unusual Prosecution of a Way of Life
Texas Will Attempt to Show That Polygamist Culture Itself Harms Children
By David A. Fahrenthold
Washington Post, 2008-04-27

[An excerpt, emphasis is added.]

In the immediate sense,
the raid may have happened because of a hoax.
Telephone calls reporting abuse at the ranch
have been linked to
a woman in Colorado with an alleged history of false abuse complaints.

[Some of us could see that coming,
based on the inability of the authorities
to find the girl among the sect children
who had supposedly placed the call.

The immediate question is:
“Why didn’t the Texas authorities check carefully before they launched
such a massive raid having such wide-spread and irreversible effects?”]

(462) Sect Children Face Another World, but Still No TV
New York Times, 2008-04-26

[The parenthesized number, 462, in the headline
was in the print version of the article.

Here is an excerpt; emphasis is added.]

Because the children, from the
Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or F.L.D.S.,
have never eaten processed foods,
the new shelter mantra is whole grains and fresh vegetables.
Because they have never been to public school,
the equivalent of home schooling will be established in shelters.
Because they have never watched television, televisions will remain off.


State officials say that their long-term goal is
reunification of the families torn asunder
in an investigation into
the possibility that
under-age girls at the ranch were forced to marry....
[A fishing expedition.]


Some child welfare experts say the risks are great
that Texas could fail the children of the sect,

compounding and exacerbating whatever damage, if any,
that they suffered in their lives before the raid.

The state seized the children
after officials said they had received a call from inside the Zion ranch
from a girl who called herself Sarah and
who said she was 16 and being abused by her middle-aged husband.
The girl has still not been found.

“We could have a situation where
the cure is worse than the original problem,”

said Richard LaVallo,
a lawyer in Austin who has represented children for 25 years.
[Sounds to me a lot like
We had to destroy the village in order to save it.”]

“I think that really categorizes what could happen if we don’t do this right.”

Far-Flung Placement of Children in Texas Raid Is Criticized
New York Times, 2008-05-20

[An excerpt; emphasis is added.]

State officials said the raid
and the taking of all the children in the church’s compound,
called Yearning for Zion,
were necessary because

the culture of the sect led to
illegal under-age marriage for girls
and acceptance of that practice by boys —

a pattern that state officials have said endangers both sexes.

[It seems to me that is excessive punishment.
The state can and no doubt will
prosecute to the full extent of the law
any infractions of the law that can be proven.
That in and of itself
will send a clear and strong message about the need to follow the law.
But the state goes farther and argues that that message will not be enough—
that it is necessary to attack the culture.
There is no evidence that I am aware of
that that is necessary to prevent, or at least minimize, recidivism.
Again, this seems like a clear case of excessive punishment.

My suspicion, without specific evidence in this case to back it up,
is that the underlying reason
for this draconian action against the mothers of the sect
is the well-known and well-established hatred
(I think that is not too strong a word)
by all those pushy, bossy, tyrannical, controlling, bitchy feminists
towards women who, unlike themselves,
do not try to lord it over their husbands,
and desire to punish such “traitors to the cause” for their treason.
This is classic in the radical tradition
from which so many feminist theoreticians have sprung (e.g.):
make an object lesson of the “weak sisters”.
Burn them at the stake.]

Appeals Court Rules Against Texas in Polygamy Case
New York Times, 2008-05-22

[The above link is to the preliminary version of the story,
on the web Thursday evening, 05-22.

As to the substance of the issue,
the state took action that was Draconian
and caused irreversible damage
to the sheltered way those children were being raised.
It was an inexcusable overreach, reminiscent of the PC-driven Duke witch hunt.
But evil, lying feminists and their many stooges and allies
demand and execute such actions against those who defy their values.
(I can only scoff at the pathetic lies that feminists and others
have been spreading about others who challenge their sick ideology.)]

Court Says Texas Illegally Seized Sect’s Children
New York Times, 2008-05-23

[This is the final version of the preliminary version above.]

Court Rejects Seizure Of Tex. Sect's Children
Group Beliefs Not Seen as 'Urgent' Danger
By David A. Fahrenthold
Washington Post, 2008-05-23

[The end of the article (emphasis is added):]

But Flora Jessop,
executive director of the Phoenix-based Child Protection Project,
which helps children who have left polygamist groups,
said it would be a bad idea to return the children to the sect,
no matter what legal logic dictates.

“If they go back into this,
the kids are going to be left in a situation [in which]
they have no rights, they have no voice, they have no choice,”
she said.

Sect Mothers Say Separation Endangers Children
New York Times, 2008-05-29

Ruth Edna Fischer was first allowed to see her 2-year-old daughter, from whom she had been separated after the raid on their polygamist ranch in Texas, at the child’s hospital room. The child had been taken there because of severe dehydration and malnutrition, Ms. Fischer said.

“Hannah looked like a little orphan sitting on the couch,” Ms. Fischer said. “Her hair was stringy and she was in a diaper, a pair of dirty socks and a hospital gown.”

The second visit two weeks later at a state office in Angleton, Tex., was worse. The girl would not even meet her mother’s gaze. “It was like she hardly remembered me,” said Ms. Fischer, who has four children in state custody.

As they await a ruling by the highest court in Texas on whether child-welfare authorities had the right to take 468 children from the ranch early last month, the mothers have started speaking out more forcefully about what they think the separation has already done to their children.


Many child-welfare experts across the nation,
who have as a group watched the high-profile Texas case closely,
say the raid on the polygamist ranch
diverged sharply from the recommended practices
both in Texas and elsewhere in the country.

They say a growing body of research
supports the contention of the mothers
that forceful removal
can have both significant short-term and long-lasting harm,
particularly for younger children.

[I don’t think that research was or is needed to support that view.
That has always been the view of society.]

Some studies have found that the wide-ranging effects
include anxiety, extreme distrust of strangers and, in the future,
higher rates of teenage pregnancy and juvenile incarceration.

Through their lawyers and in personal interviews,
the mothers have been spilling tales of
toddlers who have forgotten toilet training and
3-year-olds who cling to them frantically during visits.
Ms. Fischer’s child became dehydrated as a result of a fever.

It is because of the growing national consensus about
the scarring effect of removal on children, even if only temporarily,
that federal law —
to which all state law must defer [???]
demands that children be removed only if
“reasonable efforts” to keep them at home have been made.

[Who knows, maybe one day “scientific research” will establish that
children are better off if their mothers don’t work,
but can stay home and care for them.
What a shock!]

Some experts in Texas state law and procedure say
the state not only violated minimum national standards,
which are written into the Texas Family Code,
but they also violated due process considerations.
These were essentially the findings of the appeals court.

[Due process? What a quaint notion.]

“They made no effort to keep the children there at the ranch,”
said Johana Scot, executive director of the Parent Guidance Center in Austin,
which helps advocate for the rights of parents
who have had their children taken into foster care.

“And even worse, they did not give the families individual hearings,
which they are also required to do by the code,” Ms. Scot said.
“They’ve really botched this.”

Deal to Return Children to Sect Breaks Down
New York Times, 2008-05-31

Sect’s Children Returned to Parents, but Inquiry Continues
New York Times, 2008-06-03

FLDS Church issues statement on marriage
Deseret News, 2008-06-03

[Paragraph numbers and emphasis are added.]

The church’s policies regarding marriage
have been widely misrepresented and misunderstood.
much of the misinformation circulating on this subject
seems designed intentionally
to fuel the flames of prejudice against the church.

The church’s practices in this regard
continue a long tradition of marriage in this country
that would have been found to have been unremarkable in 19th century America.

Or in Renaissance Italy
(sorry the full information from that exhibition
does not seem to be available online,
but typical marriages among the nobility involved men in their thirties,
after they had demonstrated their earning power,
to women (girls really) in their mid teens, sometimes even early teens).]

In the FLDS church,
all marriages are consensual.
The church insists on appropriate consent,
including that of the woman and the man,
in all circumstances.

Nevertheless, the church is clarifying its policy toward marriage.
Therefore, in the future, the church commits that

it will not preside over the marriage of any woman
under the age of legal consent
in the jurisdiction in which the marriage takes place.

The church will counsel families
that they neither request nor consent to any underage marriages.
This policy will apply church-wide.

The church believes in purity, cleanliness and innocence.
Our children and families are the cornerstones of our lives and our religion.
We hope that this modest clarification in policy will alleviate recent concerns
and allow the church and its families to reside in peace among our neighbors.

Rick Perry stands by raid of polygamist sect's Texas ranch
The Dallas Morning News, 2008-06-06

[Paragraph numbers and emphasis are added.]

Gov. Rick Perry,
accepting personal blame if Texas “stepped across some legal line,”
nevertheless on Thursday
strongly defended its sweep of all youngsters from a polygamist sect’s ranch.

“I still think that the state of Texas has an obligation
to young women who are forced into marriage and underage sex –
to protect them.
That’s my bottom line on this,”
Mr. Perry said during a visit to France.

State child-welfare authorities last month
removed hundreds of children from a ranch owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,
saying that the sect forces underage girls to marry older men.
The state this week returned all the children to their parents
after courts ruled that it had overstepped its authority in the mass removals,
but says it is continuing its investigation.

The governor said he hopes state law enforcement officials and prosecutors
“continue to send the message” to the sect
that child sexual abuse won’t be tolerated.

Mr. Perry warned sect members that
“if you are going to conduct yourself that way, we are going to prosecute you.
If you don’t want to be prosecuted for those activities,
then maybe Texas is not the place you need to consider calling home.”

Willie Jessop, a Utah-based elder in the sect,
called Mr. Perry’s remarks shocking – especially, he said,
after the courts ruled against the state.

“It’s an outrage that he would even make such gross and broad allegations,”
Mr. Jessop said.
“He’s listening to people that tell lies about the FLDS.”

The sect has denied there is any greater prevalence of child abuse in its ranks
than in mainstream society.
It has accused CPS of religious persecution.

Mr. Perry, speaking in La Baule, France,
where he gave the keynote address at a European business conference,
was asked if he will fire or discipline any state officials
because of the way the case was handled.

“I think that with the knowledge that the CPS had at the time they acted,
that they acted with the best interest of those children,” he said.

Mr. Perry said he hopes CPS and the sect “work together”
to protect any sect children who may be in jeopardy.

“If responsibility needs to be taken for [court edicts] saying that
we stepped across some legal line,
I’ll certainly take that responsibility,”
Mr. Perry said.
“I am substantially less interested
in these fine legal lines that we’re discussing
than I am about these children’s welfare;
that’s where my focus is.
That’s where CPS’ focus is.”

Mr. Perry said he wants Texas to enforce its laws,
which generally forbid minors under 17 from engaging in sex,
especially with partners who are four or more years older.
[“Especially with”?]

“Forcing a young woman who reaches puberty
into a marriage with an older man for whatever reason
is not appropriate behavior in the state of Texas,”
he said.

The governor said investigating the sect has been “incredibly difficult”
because of a lack of cooperation by sect parents.
While he said,
“I understand totally reuniting pre-pubescent children with their mothers,”
he said authorities must focus on
“what occurred here and why it occurred here.
And that is a clear violation of ... social standards and the law.”

Mr. Jessop said girls in his fundamentalist Mormon sect aren’t in danger.
On Monday, the church announced that
it would no longer sanction marriage of any female
under the age of legal consent in the state where she lives.

Mr. Jessop said Mr. Perry, in calling for criminal prosecutions,
showed the same stubbornness as President Bush on the Iraq war.

“Rather than acknowledging we’re in there on bad intelligence,
we keep fighting the fight,” Mr. Jessop said.
“I don’t know if that’s a Texas thing or what that is.
But he’s in that same mentality –
let’s continue to justify why we’re there
rather than acknowledging it wasn’t true.”

Mr. Jessop also cited a Dallas Morning News review of Mr. Perry’s e-mails,
which showed the Republican governor
did not receive a full briefing on the FLDS removals
until five days after the raid.

“It’s an outrage he would even comment on things
that he obviously hasn’t stayed close enough to,
to personally know what he’s talking about,”
Mr. Jessop said.

He said Mr. Perry ought to get his facts straight.
He said the governor has rebuffed a sect invitation to visit the ranch.

Perry spokeswoman Krista Piferrer said
the governor used his phone and personal updates from his staff
to stay informed about FLDS-related events in early April.
She said the governor was engaged
but deferred to experts at CPS and the Department of Public Safety
to conduct the investigation and do their work.

Ms. Piferrer, asked about the sect’s invitation for Mr. Perry to visit the ranch, said,
“It would be inappropriate for the governor
to go to the home of any child who was removed by CPS
because their parents are under a criminal investigation
for not protecting them from sexual abuse.
This case is no different.”

A Sect’s Families Reunite, and Start to Come Home
New York Times, 2008-06-06

[An excerpt; emphasis is added.]

Residents of the ranch are largely self-sufficient

[I think that is highly admirable.
I don’t think that their lifestyle is for everyone,
but I think that they should be admired for their self-sufficiency
and for their generally admirable values.
Let me stress, by that I am definitely not referring to
having sex with underage girls, whether within a marital relation or not,
nor am I referring to polygamy.
But leaving those two hot-button sex-related issues aside,
I certainly admire and respect
their nineteenth-century “Little House on the Prairie” lifestyle and values,
which I find far more admirable than those of many of Hollywood “celebrities”
whose lives the media so incessantly presents to the general public and celebrates,
the Paris Hiltons, Brittany Spears, Amy Winehouses, etc.]

Yearning for Protection
Texas authorities are right to protect children in a religious sect
from violations of state law.
Washington Post Editorial, 2008-06-06

[Here is the full text; paragraph numbers and emphasis are added.
In reading it, ask yourself:
“Who is yearning?”, and
“What is it that they desire protection from?”.]

TEXAS LAW enforcement officials raided the Yearning for Zion Ranch in April
after getting a tip
that a 16-year-old girl was being sexually and physically abused there.
The West Texas ranch is home to members of the
Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS),
who practice polygamy through “spiritual” marriages.
Girls are eligible for such marriages
as soon as they experience their first menstruation;
“Uncle Merrill,” the ranch’s leader,
would decide when and to whom a girl would be given away.
Officers found records indicating that
at least a half dozen girls, ages 13 to 16, living on the ranch
were either pregnant or had recently given birth.
Officials ultimately removed some 468 boys and girls from the ranch
and placed them temporarily in the custody of the state.

It is all too easy in hindsight to accuse officials of overreaching.

It was not beyond logic that
if pubescent girls were being forced into
sexual relationships with older men
that some other form of abuse
could have been inflicted
on younger children of both sexes.

Had workers and police officers not acted,
they no doubt would have come under harsh criticism.

Yet it is clear they overstepped the bounds of Texas law,
which authorizes the state to take children away from parents
only if
the “urgent need for protection required the immediate removal of the child.”

Texas courts over the past week have concluded as much,
leading to the return of many of the children to their parents.
A trial judge has started evaluating on a case-by-case basis
whether to allow pubescent girls to return to the ranch.
This is the proper approach,
one that both corrects officials’ initial overreaction
and properly allows the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
a significant legal role in ensuring the welfare of the victims in this case.

A spokesman for the FLDS said this week that
the church will immediately stop forcing girls
into marriage or sexual relations with older men.
It is the duty of the state to make sure this is so.
Religious beliefs and practices must be respected,
but only so far as they abide by state and federal laws.

[There are many problems with this editorial,
which I will point out when I have time.
But for now, just notice that
no women were forced into marriage,
nor was that ever the policy of the church:
see this.
In particular,
the church never said
it was "stop[ping] forcing" girls into marriage or sexual relations,
because it had never done so.]

Rozita Swinton’s Bad Call
Police say her deception set off the FLDS raid.
By Arian Campo-Flores and Catharine Skipp
Newsweek, 2008-07-26

[This really is a thorough article on the background of Rozita Swinton.
Highly recommended.
An excerpt:]

Others who’ve known her view her as
a masterful manipulator with
an insatiable appetite for attention.


The daughter of a convicted murderer....
In a recent conversation with NEWSWEEK, [her father]
described Rozita as “the world’s greatest con artist,”
and denied her accusations.


Yet the calls continued—to school counselors, women’s shelters and police.
Among the cast of characters Swinton impersonated,
according to [Det. Terry Thrumston of the Colorado Springs Police Department]:
April, who claimed she was molested by her father;
Ericka, who said she’d been impregnated by her uncle, and
Dana, who alleged that she was abused by her youth pastor.
This past February,
according to an arrest-warrant affidavit against Swinton,
Colorado Springs police responded to two 911 calls
from someone claiming to be Jennifer,
a 4-year-old abused girl locked in a basement.
By tracking the calls,
cops narrowed the location to a two-block radius
and then searched the area house by house for a trapped little girl.
Swinton “basically shut down a whole police division,” says Thrumston.
The girl was never found.
(In between calls,

Swinton also found time to get elected
as a state delegate for Sen. Barack Obama
in the Colorado Democratic caucuses.)

[It figures.]


Swinton’s calls can sound like a genuine cry for help.
Instead, they stand to land her in jail.

[What BS.
All too many black women delight in making false accusations against white men.
It’s time people became more conscious of
the pattern of black women lying about white men,
sometimes causing authorities
to waste much money on unnecessary investigations
over charges that should have been ridiculed rather than treated with respect.
As a case in point, I was told years ago by a black woman that
she worked with a team of police who were investigating me
for some sort of charge related to black women.
I do not know if she was telling the truth or making this up,
but I can certainly say that if she was telling the truth,
that only shows how gullible the local authorities are.
Of course, the way our political class panders to blacks, I’m not surprised.
Then too, the PC types have no way of answering points raised by
people willing to challenge
the manifold lies and cover-ups of political correctness
(e.g., the “blame all black problems on white racism” canard)
other than trumping up charges against them.]

Texas Report Says 12 Girls at Sect Ranch Were Married
New York Times, 2008-12-24

Who is Rozita Swinton?
mrontemp.blogspot.com, 2009-03-16

FLDS: Texas ranger testifies in polygamous sect raid probe
By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune, 2009-05-17

San Angelo, Texas »

A Texas Ranger testified it took him two days
to link calls
that triggered the largest child welfare investigation in U.S. history
to a known prankster --
something he could have done
before authorities entered a polygamous sect’s ranch
if a supervisor had requested it.

And a probation officer for the suspect named in the state’s search warrant
said he would have immediately arranged to turn the man over
if Texas authorities had asked.

But no one contacted him.

A hearing aimed at suppressing evidence against 10 FLDS men
facing charges related to bigamy and underage marriage
ended with no rulings from 51st District Judge Barbara Walther.

she gave defense attorneys 30 days to submit written closing arguments
and the state 21 days to respond before she rules on the matter.

At stake is evidence contained in
928 boxes and 66-plus computers
taken from the sect’s Yearning For Zion Ranch last April
that the state used to indict the men,
members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The investigation at the ranch was triggered by
a caller who claimed to be a 16-year-old plural wife
who was being beaten and raped at the ranch by her husband.
Those calls are now believed to be a hoax.

Over four days, the mens’ attorneys presented evidence they say shows
law officers did nothing to verify the abuse calls
or locate the alleged abuser
but used the calls
as a pretext to stage a massive search for evidence of child abuse.

Prosecutors say that at the time of the raid [2008-04-03],
officers believed a young girl was being beaten and held captive there
[Based on what?
When they hadn't even verified that the calls originated from Texas,
let alone the vicinity of the ranch?]

and put together a prompt, safe plan to find her.

The defense called eight witnesses Saturday;
Walther refused to let a ninth, law professor Gerald S. Reamey, testify.

Reamey is a former legal advisor to the Irving, Texas, police department
and author of
“A Peace Officer’s Guide to Texas Law”
and several other law enforcement texts [e.g.].
Defense attorneys wanted Reamey to share
minimal practices officers might be expected to follow in similar situations.
State prosecutors objected,
citing Reamey’s lack of experience as an officer.

The judge did hear from an officer who said
he was contacted
two days before she signed the initial search warrant on April 3.

Steve Mild, an operations captain for the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office,
said he was asked about use of a mobile command center.
He said Schleicher County Sheriff David Doran
told him before the operation began
that authorities planned to remove 20 to 25 children from the ranch.

Another officer, Texas Ranger Aaron Grigsby,
said he arranged on the morning of April 3 to
close air space over the ranch in preparation for
the “most massive search” he’d ever encountered.
[What on earth were they expecting?
All this and they couldn't even verify the caller's identity?]

Walther signed the warrant about 5:50 p.m. that evening
and authorities entered the ranch about three hours later.

Doran testified Friday
he received a call from someone purporting to be Dale Evans Barlow,
the man named in the warrant just before going on the ranch.

Doran said he questioned the caller about
his height, weight, eye color, hair color,
social security number and drivers license number.
Everything matched,
but Doran said he could not verify the caller was Barlow.

Former Mohave County Probation Officer Bill Loader told the judge
that Barlow left him a message that night requesting to meet immediately.
Loader said Barlow came to his office the next day
and that he arranged daily, in-person contact to monitor his whereabouts.

No one from Texas ever contacted him, Loader said.
If they had, he could have picked up Barlow immediately without a warrant
because of his probationary status.

Texas Ranger Phillip Kemp said Saturday
he was asked on April 14 to investigate
calls to the New Bridge Family Center that triggered the investigation.
[Note: the raid was on April 3.]

Kemp said his investigation connected the calls to Rozita Swinton,
a Colorado woman with a history of making false abuse reports.

Kemp traveled to Colorado Springs on April 16
and met with police there who filled him in on Swinton’s history.
He later participated in a search of her apartment,
where officers found notes and materials that referenced
FLDS members, the Eldorado ranch,
the hot line crisis workers, the Tom Green County Courthouse, the LDS Church
and a math calculation in which 16 was subtracted from 2008.

“Based on evidence we found at the apartment,
she had spent some” time studying the sect, Kemp said.

Kemp said he began reviewing Swinton’s phone records in May 2008
and found numerous calls to the crisis hotline beginning March 29
and, a day later, to anti-polygamy activist Flora Jessop.
Jessop arranged three-way calls with the crisis center and Swinton,
who claimed to be “Sarah Barlow Jessop’s” sister in those conversations,
Kemp said.

Kemp also found
a 90-second call from Doran’s cell phone to Swinton on April 8, 2008.
Doran never told rangers he had the number until Kemp asked him about it.

The sheriff said he heard only silence in the 90-second call.

Also on Saturday, an investigator for Goldstein testified that
he checked with the Schleicher County Medical Center
and learned
no one from law enforcement had ever attempted to verify
the caller’s claim of being treated there for broken ribs.

[Hey, the call was from a woman.
Would women ever lie?
Not according to the feminists!]

That contradicts testimony by Long,
who said that was done by the district attorney’s office.

Texas FLDS raid:
Defense attorney alleges search too broad, evidence tainted

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune, 2009-07-13

Texas authorities
used a hoax call about abuse at a polygamous sect’s Texas ranch
as a pretext for an “unlimited, general search” in April 2008 --
a search law officers “had wanted for years to conduct,”
an attorney contends in a new court filing.

The size and scope of the investigation showed from the outset
it was not about checking the well-being of a single abuse victim and her child,
and authorities failed to make even basic attempts
to corroborate claims made in the hoax calls,
the 100-plus-page brief filed Monday
by attorney Gerald Goldstein on behalf of Frederick Merril Jessop states.
They also made misstatements
in affidavits used to get court orders to enter the ranch,
the attorneys argue, among them
that the abuser was at the ranch and
that child welfare investigators
had been denied access to the community and alleged victims.

“In this case, there can be little doubt that
the law enforcement authorities who engaged in this unprecedented raid
were aware of popular misconceptions about
the beliefs and practices of the FLDS Church,
and acted on such misconceptions rather than on the facts,”
the filing states.


Texas authorities entered the ranch
after a San Angelo domestic violence shelter
received several distress calls
from a purported 16-year-old named “Sarah Jessop Barlow”
claiming abuse by her husband, Dale Evans Barlow.
During the May hearing, a Texas ranger acknowledged
the calls were a hoax staged by Rozita Swinton of Colorado.



Rozita Swinton Pleads Guilty
by Hugh McBryde
hughmcbryde.blogspot.com, 2010-01-13

[One is left wondering just who placed those calls
that caused the Texas authorities to launch their massive raid.
I guess making false charges isn’t considered much of an offense
when the false charges lead to something else prosecutable.
I guess the rules about “tainted evidence” did not apply here.
(I am not a lawyer, and am certainly not expert in these matters.)]

How Fairfax County honors lies and is indifferent to truth and justice

Fairfax teacher Sean Lanigan still suffering from false molestation allegations
by Tom Jackan
Washington Post, 2011-05-15

[I am hardly surprised by the story painted by this article.
There is nothing TeamPC likes more than making false charges,
and our PC-driven political system takes them all seriously,
no matter how ridiculous.
It seems the height of absurdity
to call the situation depicted in the story “justice”.]