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article imageOpEd: Polygamy Roundup, If You'll Pardon The Pun

By Johnny Simpson     May 3, 2008 in Crime
The warrant against Dale Barlow, 'husband' of caller 'Sarah', has been dropped, a DPS spokesman said. A new 'cultural guide' helps Texas understand FLDS children, who have been as insolent as any. Mitt Romney's great granddad had five wives. And more.
No earth-shattering news to report on the FLDS case, but still a lot of interesting tidbits.
On the one-month anniversary of the FLDS raid, here is the story by the numbers:
* 599 DNA samples collected;
* 464 children in state custody;
* 16 group shelters caring for the children;
* One warrant canceled;
* No charges issued.
By the way, did you know that Parley P. Pratt (say THAT three times fast), former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's great-grandfather, had five wives, and at least one of his great-great-grandfathers had twelve?
Looks like the Romney family was for it before they were agin it.
Also, the arrest warrant for Dale E. Barlow, thought to be the husband of 'Sarah', a teenage girl whose report of abuse triggered a raid on a polygamous sect's Texas compound, has been dropped and is no longer active, authorities said Friday.
Rob Parker, an FLDS spokesman and defense attorney, said the dropped warrant shows the weakness of the state's case against residents of the ranch.
"I think that's just one more piece of evidence that the whole basis on which this raid was premised was unfounded and was inadequately checked out, to the formulation of what basically amounted to an army that went in there and took their children," Parker said.
Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Tom Vinger would not say why the warrant was dropped for Dale E. Barlow, 50, who lives in Colorado City, Ariz. Barlow has denied knowing the 16-year-old girl who called a crisis center.
Investigators have not said whether Swinton made the call to Texas authorities, though Vinger said she is "still considered a person of interest."
"There is an investigation centering on that," Vinger said. "We have quite a bit of evidence that still needs to be analyzed."
Vinger said detectives have sent evidence regarding the calls to a crime laboratory and may wait for the results before taking a case to prosecutors. "We're known for being extremely thorough," he said.
More on Ms. Swinton in a moment. First and always, the children.
It is turning out that, like children everywhere, the FLDS kids are an insolent handful.
A newly released "cultural awareness guide" says FLDS children in Texas state custody have made derogatory comments to "staff of color" and women wearing jewelry.
The guide also indicates that boys taken from the YFZ Ranch have been "upset" over men with facial hair and men who aren't wearing long-sleeved shirts
The guide was posted Friday on the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Web site. It lists unique cultural and behavioral practices and beliefs of the Fundamentalist LDS Church and is designed to help workers better understand and communicate with the children.
The information was rounded up through Texas child welfare and law enforcement agencies.
The guide is dated April 22, the same day the first group of about 100 children was taken from a temporary shelter and bused to foster care facilities. All the children have since been placed in such facilities throughout the state
Here's the Salt Lake Tribune's breakdown on the Guide.
Carolyn Jessop said she's not surprised at such comments.
"Warren Jeffs has been so racist," she said of the sect's spiritual leader, who is now in an Arizona jail. "What he was programming into kids was scary."
As to children making negative comments concerning women wearing jewelry, Jessop said jewelry is considered vain and is taboo in the FLDS faith. Pierced ears, too, are frowned upon.
"That's like sinning against God, to maim your body like that," she said.
Also, FLDS men are required to shave and keep their hair short. "To grow a beard is a sign of immorality," Jessop explained.
FLDS spokesman Rod Parker takes issue with the 'cultural awareness guide' as well, saying much of the information in the guide comes from critics of the church.
"FLDS families are upset because many of these guidelines come from dissidents and the parents have been excluded from the process," he said. "When it comes right down to it, this whole situation is about Texas acting on the basis of anti-FLDS propaganda."
Now that the FLDS kids are in state custody, I am sure after all the culture shock wears off, it won't be long before they're right up there with American kids in learning at school, playing violent video games, wearing shorts halfway down their butt cheeks, getting pierced and tattooed, lighting farts, cursing God and everything else, exploring homosexuality, etc, etc.
After all, Kids will be Kids. And this IS America.
Meanwhile In Utah, members of the polygamous church have asked the state's governor to intervene in its fight with Texas authorities over the custody the children.
A letter written by FLDS elder Willie Jessop says Texas officials are rejecting Utah-issued birth certificates and other documents as "fake."
The letter asks Gov. Jon Huntsman to exercise his executive authority to assist in protecting the civil rights of native Utahns and FLDS members. FLDS parents claim they have been denied their due process by the Texas courts.
"Without your leadership and personal intervention in this matter, the parental rights of every Utah family is at risk," Jessop wrote.
Huntsman spokeswoman Lisa Roskelly said the governor has been in contact with Jessop and was reviewing his request.
If you're a real FLDS news junkie, there's lots more on the FLDS story at the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News.
I'm all polygamied out.
Wait, I still have room for one more. Always one more. Actually, two.
Yeah, I know. We're ALL hypocrites.
All is quiet on the Rozita Swinton front. But as previous entries stated, she remains a person of interest in the investigation. Like the FLDS case itself, it may take weeks to process all the information: telephone numbers, fingerprints, documents, and follow ups on any leads that may arise.
In this humble DJ's opinion, I think the Texas Rangers, FBI, Arizona and Colorado police are going to take their sweet time and build a case that will make a cautionary tale out of Ms. Swinton to both discourage the kind of disruptive prank calls she's been making in three states, and as payback for all the grief she's put them through, and may yet still.
At the moment, she remains a 'missing person of interest' and would probably be as hard to find as Osama bin Laden.
Last News Item:
The Utah Jazz beat the Houston Rockets 113-91 to win their series 4-2 and advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs to face Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
I know. But the Jazz are from Utah, and they do share basketballs like the FLDS men share wives. And chances are the Lakers are going to call it in and raid them.
Lots more to come, I'm sure.
Stay tuned.
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