I've decided to add another link to my 'other sites' listings. I'm doing it because of a tragedy that has been underreported in the recent rush of stories about the FLDS church (no connection at all to the actual LDS church, to which I belong, and which banned polygamy in 1890) and its leader, Warren Jeffs, who is now on the FBI's ten most wanted list for, among other crimes, child rape, for his role in forcing underage girls to get married to old men who already have multiple wives.
Now, I want to say at the outset that what any number of consenting adults does, is not the state's business. However, in this case, we see girls who have been forced to drop out of junior high school being forced into marriages with men old enough to be their grandfathers. Neither the word, 'consenting' nor the word, 'adult' applies here, so this is child rape, pure and simple.
What has not been reported much is what has happened to the 'lost boys.' We are talking about those boys who have been raised in the polygamist community, consisting of Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah (what amounts to a border straddling community is one of the ploys they have used for years to dodge various court orders and other matters that involve jurisdiction). If you do the math, you will realize that in order to maintain a polygamist community, they have only two choices. One is to go out and convert a bunch of females (one reason why it is highly advisable for women to avoid stopping there when traveling alone, especially with baby girls-- my wife once had to stop there with my two young daughters, who had to use the restroom on their way back from my mother in law's house, while I was working, and 'uncomfortable,' and even 'threateningly uncomfortable' are mild compared to the creepy kind of terror she felt as some of the men in the store looked the young girls over). In today's day and age, such kidnappings or very hard sell conversions are rare though, and they don't want to involve Federal Authorities, so while there are plenty of rumors that this used to happen, it apparently isn't happening now.
The other way is to get rid of some young males. And that is the way they do it. The 'lost boys' as they are called, are teenagers, raised in the insular fundamentalist community where they have probably read the Book of Mormon only (this community is so fundamentalist that some families don't even read the Bible) and who usually about 15 or 16-- though some have been as young as 13, on the pretext of committing the smallest transgression, are dumped in some nearby town and left there. The families file runaway reports with the local police in order to protect themselves legally.
These boys have very few skills to make it in the outside world. They do probably possess rudimentary construction skills (when driving through Colorado City, as I have many times, it's not hard to pick out the polygamist homes-- large, unfinished homes that look like under construction hotels, except they aren't.) Their reading and schooling level is junior high level at best (and they know one or perhaps two books (if they come from a family 'enlightened' enough to read the Bible), as described above, mostly from memory, but know virtually nothing else that might be read about). They have been forbidden since infancy to speak to females except for their mothers (who they have several of), and so have no social skills at all when it comes to knowing how to talk to or relate to a female at or near their own age.
Many of them when they get out into the world, end up in prison, sexually abused by older men or women who 'take them in,' drug addicts, or dead. Others stay together and live in small groups, finding what work they can, in towns across southern Utah (very cosmopolitan to these boys, though my wife is from one of these towns, and thinks Flagstaff is a big city.) And ironically, as white males, they don't even qualify for any kind of affirmative action, so that they don't have any preferences when trying to find work either.
A past they can't go back to, a present they don't understand and have trouble surviving in, and a future that is devoid of hope.
And that is where the link comes in. It is a link to the Diversity Foundation, an organization founded by Sandy, Utah dentist Dan Fischer, himself a former FLDS member (more on that here). Fischer has taken in about fifty of the boys.
Fischer wants to stop the church's most extreme practices, so he can stop cleaning up the mess. In the high stakes legal game to end the FLDS as an institution, he could be the unwitting sculptor of a new legal definition for freedom of religion. Fischer maintains that, while they have the right to practice their beliefs, religious institutions don't have the power to disrupt and exploit lives.
Polygamy's enemies have long argued the practice means exploitation for young women and even girls trafficked among older men. The Lost Boys lawsuit is perhaps the first to point out that young men can suffer polygamy's effects as well. They may not lose their sexual innocence, but ejected from a religious community and mindset they've known from infancy, they can be rendered homeless and hopeless.
Fischer requires that the boys keep out of trouble and go to school while they live with him. Some of his opponents claim that he is using it to promote his dental business. Whether he is or not is actually immaterial-- if he wasn't doing this, there is no one else who would.
I think this is important enough to put up the site, because until a couple of years ago, this was going on just as much, but was completely ignored and not covered. Still pretty close to that.