essay by Adam Marcus
If you drive northeast of the tiny town of Eldorado, Texas (pop. 2,000) on Schleicher County Road 300, there isn’t much to see, save the occasional oil well and the limitless, low-lying brush of the dry landscape. But four miles or so out of town, as the calm monotony of west Texas ranch country begins to set in, you’ll come upon an unmarked, padlocked gate, initially indistinguishable from those found at countless other dusty turnoffs along the road.
Some of you have argued with me that the public has a right to Warren Jeffs’ private writings, and that argument is bolstered by the fact that he has been convicted and is in jail. I’m okay with the fact that you don’t agree with me, and I appreciate your thoughtful responses. However, this thing is really sticking in my craw and I’m just not convinced that this release was not an absolute violation of privacy rights that should concern every American citizen for the precedent it sets.
This photograph I made of a young FLDS girl waiting to be reunited with her parents recently won an Award of Excellence in the General News Reporting category in the Pictures of the Year International (POYi) photojournalism contest.
“We left our motel room around 2 p.m. in the afternoon, from 2:30 p.m. til 3:30 p.m. on Monday we did as the Lord commanded in going into disguise by going into the suntanning salon,” he said on Aug. 12, 2005. “The Lord has directed that I watch certain movies to see how this generation and nation delight in warfare, immorality, about the Crusades, a very bloody, violent show, and how the people of this nation are indoctrinated in fighting against religion.”
Later, Warren Jeffs was visited by some of his wives.
“They were dressed as the gentiles are in britches and short sleeve blouses. Their hair was patterned after the gentile hairdos, and had the makeup or paint on their faces. I had them change into Priesthood dresses, and I explained why they were there,” he said. “The Lord had directed that I make sure they see the program ‘Man on Fire’ a very violent, immoral show about kidnapping, where the parents of a child kidnap their own child to get money. I explained to the ladies that this is what the Lord showed me would happen against some of our Priesthood people.”
I had an adorable wife, gorgeous little children, brothers, sisters, parents, load’s of extended family, almost innumerable amount of friends, a cozy home, and a job I loved. But in a matter of ten seconds, I lost them all. All of them. Everything. With the calmest and quietest of voices, a great man said to me “You have no Priesthood authority”; which I already knew. To describe the experience closest is to calmly walk up, have a cannon pointed at your chest, and fired. My ability to walk, and speak, stayed with me long enough to load some of my belongings in my little van, and drive away, barely.
Am I a victim? Of a crime? Only if you call justice a crime; only if you call all choices that are painful, bad ones. I don’t, because I deserved it. I earned it. The loss that I feel, the absolute death of soul that I felt, the pain that hurt me the very most, is the loss of the confidence of my best friend, Warren Steed Jeffs.
On a humid Wednesday in late June, as she waited to be summoned by a grand jury, 16-year-old Teresa Jeffs hitched up her navy blue prairie dress and hoisted herself into the crooked arms of a live oak tree that sits in front of the Schleicher County Courthouse in Eldorado, Tex. For a few minutes, she was not — as has been speculated about many of the young women of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or F.L.D.S. — a possible child bride, or a sexual-abuse victim, or a member of an out-of-touch, polygamous religious sect. She was just a kid in a tree, perched serenely above the heads of all the lawyers, reporters and sheriff’s deputies — a moon-faced girl with an auburn coxcomb of hair and a mischievous grin.
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I’m now fairly convinced Texas will never see any successful criminal prosecutions from the Great Eldorado Polygamist Roundup. They’ve just screwed it up too badly. Whether the child seizures will stick on the civil side is another matter, but nearly all their evidence for possible criminal prosecutions appears tainted.
I’ve argued previously why I think the search warrant was based on bogus information, and evidence keeps trickling out that confirms law enforcement knew or should have known the original complaint call was a hoax before they went in.
I am eighty years old. I’ve lived in Texas for almost a year and have been a member of the FLDS Church for fifty-six years. My purpose in writing this letter is to counter the false propaganda that has spewed forth from the Texas authorities.
I didn’t want to address the fact that Warren Jeffs is considered by most people as a criminal. It is almost impossible for my brain to even comprehend that he was on the FBI top ten most wanted list. I still have to think about it over and over again. Are you kidding me? Warren Jeffs? The guy who couldn’t harm a flea? The skinny guy who got his ribs cracked by my brother while playing dare base? They guy who Mrs. Wall [Elissa’s mother, our English teacher] beat in an arm wrestle? FBI TOP TEN? When am I going to wake up? I need somebody to slap me. Hello?
Police and state officials have been involved in a raid or a siege at the FLDS Church compound near El Dorado, Texas where polygamous followers of Warren Jeffs live.
Several police and state agencies are involved in the raid which began Thursday night, including Texas child protection service workers. Witnesses say an armored personnel carrier vehicle is also involved.
Former stripper turned Playboy Playmate turned reality-TV star Anna Nicole Smith has overcome her longtime struggle with obesity, at last reaching her target weight of 125 pounds, sources said Monday.
“Anna’s been through a lot,” said Florida Circuit Court Judge Larry Seidlin, who became visibly emotional as he spoke to reporters. “But I think it’s fair to say that she hasn’t been this happy in years.”
Let me start off by saying that my Dad always thought Trent Nelson was a bad influence on me. I am not sure why. He was really the only person I hung out with that did not drink or do drugs. He loved my friend Billy Hicks who I used to get weed from because I knew him in 6th grade. But Billy didn’t almost get me arrested for Kidnapping.