The Texas polygamy story is just getting started.
Here goes. The polygamy compound in Eldorado, Texas (the Yearning For Zion ranch) is getting lots of buzz these days. The Mormon sect, known as FLDS (), was raided weeks back. Ugh, when people start throwing around the words 'compound' and 'sect,' you know that public opinion is squarely against you. The siege was triggered by a 16-year old girl calling a Texas family center to say that she had a baby, was pregnant with another, and was suffering abuse by her middle-aged husband (more on this in a moment).
So, the authorities swoop in on this tip. They do not find the 'courageous' whistleblower but do make some arrests and move the women and children into the San Angelo Coliseum (echoes of Katrina). According to the AP, those 400-some odd children are to be moved into foster care. The authorities are conducting DNA testing on the kids and the adults, presumably so that they can match families back up if this blows over. While seizing the kids may have been politically expedient (and maybe the right thing to do), it does sort of follow the 'shoot first, ask questions later' morality that is sometimes associated with child services.
Evidently the mainstream media is kirking out about how the grown women dress. The phrase 'compound chic' was coined by someone or another. We think any criticism there is a little unfair. Little House On The Prairie was a very influential show to generations of women. Our fave, Ginnifer Goodwin, prefers the costumes that they wear on Big Love. So do we, Ginnifer!
And the whistleblower, according to ABC, law enforcement officials are pretty sure that the call for help came from outside of the compound. It looks like the call can be traced to a Colorado Springs apartment. The person in question, Rozita Swinton (no relation to Tilda Swinton, that we know of), was arrested last week on charges of making false charges in AN UNRELATED CASE. Numbers supposedly associated with her have been linked to phony calls in Florida, Washington, and Utah.
OK, polygamy is wrong or definitely illegal per an 1856 law. And, if the stories coming out of Texas are any indication, it is probably not a good situation for children and/ or women. But, it looks like the current situation was triggered by a prank phone call. It’s almost like authorities were waiting for any excuse to go in. And this thing is going to get way worse before it gets better. Families will be split, police tactics will be called into question, government bureaucracy will be harangued, and that probably won’t be all. With any luck, though, the media will finally take this opportunity to highlight the differences between mainstream Mormons and the FLDS offshoot.