Discussions of Book of Mormon issues and evidences, plus other topics related to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Media on Hefner and Other Exploiters of Young Women: Is It Time to Raid the Another Compound?

Just a couple days before I heard the shocking stories about the raids on that strange fundamentalist compound in Texas, I heard another story about Hugh Hefner and the Playboy Mansion. Predictably, it was a positive, glowing story - have you ever heard any other tone from the mainstream media about Hefner? Then came the FLDS story and the massive moral outrage about old men exploiting young girls (yes, of course this is wrong) and the the repugnant nature of one man having more than one wife. In spite of my church having encouraged polygamy until 1890, and in spite of my acceptance of the Bible as scripture, where polygamists like Abraham are treated with respect, I struggle with the concept in era and am glad it's relegated to our distant past. So I can understand the moral stance of the media being quite upset over the allegations from that fundamentalist group in Texas. But I wonder if anyone has considered comparing the polygamist pariahs to the media's favorite idol, Hugh Hefner?

Hugh has better lawyers, of course, or at least listens to them, and is careful to avoid exploiting women under the age of 18 (perhaps with a couple of minor exceptions (search for "youngest"), so to speak, when a 16-year-old Playmate in the early days lied about her age, and then there was a 16-year-old in Germany who posed for the German edition). But here we have a guy in his 70s exploiting multiple young college girls. They are plural throw-away wives, in a sense, who sign contracts, get rights, money, benefits, and become his temporary playthings. Lower than wives. More troubling than plural marriage, IMO. And the media loves it, celebrates it, encourages it - have you ever seen a major reporter or journalist point out the "yuck factor" here? I don't watch much TV, so I may have missed it, but what I've seen has been 100% adulation. Have any of Hefner's girls been asked tough questions on TV about their physical relationship with such an old, filthy lecher? Anyone creating a sense of shame over the debauchery and licentiousness that goes on in the Playboy Mansion? You want gross, that is the capital. But I've heard journalists indicate that they would love to be invited to a party there, as if it would be about the highest honor they could hope for. And can you think of anyone in the major networks who cries shame?

What makes a 70-something lecher genuinely corrupting multiple young "throwaway wives" so wonderful compared to FLDS polygamy? The anonymous complainer was allegedly 16, which is terribly young, but actually legal marriage age in many states if there is parental consent. Do those two years make that big of a moral difference?

Yes, we need to protect young women from older men. Maybe we could start with a raid on the Playboy compound to free the exploited Bunnies, and expose one of the most vile men and most vile empires of all time. Authorities, please feel free to use this post as your anonymous tip. (5-17-08: For troubled readers, this is not a serious request.)

I would also suggest that media-celebrated agencies like Planned Parenthood, in encouraging sexual promiscuity among teenagers, are inevitably promoting sexual activities between young girls and older men. I think moral outrage about immorality and the exploitation of young women needs to extend to groups and empires other than just fringe religions.

This nation would be much healthier if we celebrated high moral standards at all levels, rather than celebrating the ultimate in moral trash as a subject of envy.


Anonymous said...

Me thinks thou doest protest too much!

Come on Jeff, you too will get your plural wives in the hereafter! Don't be all too upset that some are doing it here and now. :)
Or do you deny that the Church teaches that there will be plural marriage in heaven? :P

Mormon Flecks said...

I get your point, but it still seems as if you are defending the abuse that occured in Texas.
If some legal adults want to cozy up to an old crusty raisen for financial gain, that is their choice. A bit disgusting, but their choice none the less.
Now if these women were born in the mansion and brainwashed their entire lives to believe that God wants them to pleasure Heff then that is a different story.
BTW I was watching a few of the moms from the Texas compound last night, you could not make a worse comparison physically between these women and the playmates at the playboy mansion.

April said...

Okay. Jeff, I think you might be joking, or trying to create hits on your site by being completely irrational.

While I don't condone what Hefner does, and the positive media attention he gets - comparing him to an FLDS father/husband is ridiculous. First of all, the 16 year old LIED about her age. The fathers and husbands know EXACTLY how old these young girls are, and still claim them as wives, and have sex with them. The 16 year old in Germany – well that’s Germany! Not America! We aren’t talking about the laws of other countries, we are addressing the law of the United States. If we were, there wouldn't be an issue.

YES, two years does make that much of a moral difference. Otherwise we wouldn’t have that law. Are you justifying having sex with 16 year olds because they seem just as mature as 18 year olds? There is a reason we have laws regarding this.

Multiply Hugh Hefner by a few hundred, subtract about five years or more from each wife, and throw in a bunch of children. Then put them all in the same place. Perhaps that would get the negative media attention it deserves, because that is exactly what the FLDS are.

The reason you can't compare Hugh to one of these men is because it's not just ONE man. It's ALL of them. It's a community that is corrupting the many children within it.

Anonymous said...

Jeff said:

"Do those two years make that much of a moral difference?"

Absolutely, they do. As I noted yesterday, the Church teaches strict compliance with the law of the land. Article of Faith 12.

Hefner's lifestyle, though revolting and immoral, happens to be legal.

The actions of the FLDS abusers, in direct contrast, are illegal. It's not a gray issue - it's black and white.

Jeff, I think on this issue you speak with good intentions but without some firsthand knowlege which might more fully inform your opinion. Some of us have that firsthand knowlege. In my case, how close is the knowlege I speak of? Right next door. Literally.

You are comparing rotten apples and poisoned ones. Hefner and modern society are rotten and degenerate - but the FLDS practices, like those of so many other apostates, are poison - so, so much worse.

NM said...


The joys of social constructionism. Post-modernism is beginning to show its ugly cracks...

Unknown said...

Jeff, Bunnies are very well paid for what they do in the playboy mansion. that is why they do what they do. Prostitution is evil at all levels, but most prostitutes are paid. what happend in texas is the same as what is happening in the Human traficing indestry.

Anonymous said...

The FLDS unions are about marriage and family. Why is there so much animosity toward them?

Everyone is raised in some world view. Why are you so sure that the world view of the FLDS is wrong? Why are you so sure that yours is right? Have you really analyzed what you believe and why?

Shall the FLDS parents not be allowed to raise their children in their world view? Do you want to force yours on them? With what right?

The last time I looked God was unchanging and had only one set of moral weights and measures (His Law-Word). There is not one word against polygyny to be found there; quite the contrary actually - polygyny is regulated and even under some circumstances required. God has even protrayed Himself as the husband of two wives in Ezekiel 23.

"Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." Hebrews 13:4

Marriage is marriage whether there is only one wife in the family or more than one. Or would you seriously argue that the majority of Jacob's children were bastards?

What is so wrong with girls being raised to be wives and mothers? What is so wrong with boys being raised to be husbands and fathers? What is so wrong with an older man marrying a young woman? Can an older man not love and cherish a younger woman and be a husband to her? Can he not love the children they would have together? Can she not love him? Why not?

Anonymous said...

Emotionally, two years does not make much of a difference, so I know what your getting at here. Just because a girl is 18 years old does not mean she is emotionally ready for the situation she's got herself into (in regard to being Heff's plaything).

The one main difference between the FLDS men and Hefner is that Hefner and his crew are pretty, famous and rich. They are both exploiting young, immature girls for their own personal enjoyment and gain.

Anonymous said...

The women in Hugh's mansion have indeed been groomed to be there!!!

Women don't do those things unless they've been sexually abused or taught throughout their young lives that that's what life is about. That's it's ok to sell yourself for money. Society also grooms young girls for lives like this!

Not to mention how many people today don't marry at all, they simply go from one bed to another to another.

Jeff is right on the money with this one.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,

Usually, while I disagree with much of what you say, you are at least rational in how you say it. This argument you're raising about raiding the Bunny Mansion seems very out of character for you, and doesn't seem to have a rational basis. Comparing Hef with the FLDS Compound is flawed. A significant difference between the girls posing and being exploited by Hef (I'll concede that they are being exploited), and the girls impacted by this raid, is in fact the age. The girls associating with Hef, with the two exceptions you noted, are adults. They are old enough to make the choice to be associated and exploited by Hef. Those girls are not children.

These girls in the FLDS compound were all children. Not a one, at least from what I can tell, was an adult having reached the age of majority. None of them had the opportunity to make an informed decision. Their free agency was completely stripped away from them. There's an inherent difference between being taught from a young age that its normal for old men to marry young girls, and making an informed decision to live that lifestyle. The children in the FLDS compound never had a chance to exercise their free agency, Hef's girls did.

Responding to Jack at the bottom, I generally agree that there is nothing wrong with teaching young men to be father's and husbands, and young girls to be mother's and wives. This is good. But, those teachings are to prepare our children how to live, and make wise choices when they reach adulthood. The difference in this case is that these young girls were taught not to be wives, but were taught to be second class citizens. These girls are being taught that they are mere chattels subservient to their husbands. These girls aren't adults choosing to enter into a marriage, they are being forced into marriage under the pretext that God has ordained it to occur. Does not the LDS Faith believe in free agency? Where is the free agency in this?


Catholic Defender

Wookface said...

I've heard one suggestion that we simply enforce the Edmunds-Tucker Act (though I believe it may have been repealed). The act prohibits polygamy, which includes unlawful cohabitation, and requires a fine to be paid for each case to the federal government. Just think, we could probably pay off the national debt and eliminate the federal income tax if each case of cohabitation in the U.S. was prosecuted and the perpetrators fined!

I agree with you Jeff, it seems silly to me that such gross wickedness, like Hugh Hefner and the Playboy Mansion, can be allowed to continue (legal or not) and yet many innocent victims were pulled from their homes because of the crimes of others in the FLDS community in the name of moral justice. What was going on there was wrong, of course, and those guilty of abuse to children should be punished accordingly. But that doesn't justify removing an entire community from their families and loved ones. The situation could have been handled so much better than it was.

Anonymous said...

OK, you're comparing a theocratic communistic society (in which women and children are roughly equivalent to cattle), to the private household of a wealthy male whose business includes paying to photograph consenting adults (two of whom you instance as underage but lied to him in order to get their money/fame--hardly coercion or exploitation).
Of course there's always a darker side to pornography, even the milder forms of it such as Playboy, but its evils are hardly to be compared to the wickedness that obtains in many of the polygamous communities of the western US.

Anonymous said...

When girls or women are placed in the Playboy compound at 6yo without their families and when they are kept there as breeding mares because they have no idea that they could have lives of their own then you can make a comparison to YFZ and the other FLDS polygamous compounds.

The ugly truth is that civilization abandoned polygamy along with nomadic patterns of living and it was introduced into this country by Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. If you want to make comparisons why not make it to them because they also wedded girls as young as 14 years old when they were middle aged women and used the intimidation of girls' sincere religious beliefs to do it.

alice munroe

April said...

Alice Munroe - You forget that not just Joseph Smith and Brigham Young practiced polygamy, but so did many others who weren't LDS.

Everyone knows that marrying 14 year old girls was once acceptable. The virgin mary was what - 12 I believe! So I am not saying that it hasn't happened, or was always "bad." But NOW it is. Slavery used to be okay! Women not having rights used to be okay! We are just at the forefront of a change. We will get to the point where we will say "Polygamy used to be okay!" And it will be looked upon in the same way as slavery, etc...

Anonymous said...

Yemeni crickets!

Anonymous said...

April- You'll have to point me at the information that says anyone outside for the early LDS was practicing polygamy in the US.

As to the acceptability of taking 14 yos, both census data and medical records about the age of estrus of women of that era both corroborate, the typical age of a first time marriage for women was about 22 years of age.

The Virgin Mary isn't an example of anything as the circumstances were so extraordinary by the account of any religion.

You may decide that polygamy was once OK because I suspect you're already wedded to that concept. But you'll also have to come face to face at some point with the fact that the rest of us who are not bound to it to justify early church leaders find it reprehensible and definitively disgusting. And we hold Joseph Smith and Brigham Young responsible for this form of bondage in our country.

alice munroe

Mormon Flecks said...

Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. If you want to make comparisons why not make it to them because they also wedded girls as young as 14 years old when they were middle aged

I am trying to come to grips with this right now. Luckily I am doing it with a firm testamony of the Book of Mormon. No matter what I hear or read about the life of Joseph Smith can explain how a man with little or no education can translate a book such as the BofM in 63 days. That being said, as I mentioned I am reading Joseph Smith Rough Stone Rolling and it strikes me that when Joseph Smith introduced polygamy and his first plural wife was 14 years old that direct inspiration and revelation that was a weekly if not daily occurance to Joseph stopped for nearly two years.
I must admit I am having a hard time understanding what happened, but it is not beyond possibility that Joseph may have lost sight of his mission and went off the reservation a little.
We see examples of this such as David in the Bible where prophets and men of God lose their way for what ever reason.
I do not want to totally dismiss the possiblity that plural marriage is in fact an eternal principal, but marrying 14 year old girls, asking already married women to be married....wierd stuff.
Any guidance?

Anonymous said...

Why is it an "eternal principle"? It was the source of much of the persecution and hardship of the early saints -- including those who weren't seen fit to have the teenage brides -- and it has shown itself to be a toxic brew to this day.

alice munroe

Mormon Flecks said...

I said:
"I do not want to totally dismiss the possiblity"

Anonymous said...

I think Jeff makes some good points in this post.

It's time for America to take a good look at how our culture "views" women.

The media should shine the light of morality on the Texas mess, and then take the same light and shine it on the modern American culture. It might be surprising just how far we've sunk into our own mess.

Jeff Lindsay said...

People, the call for a Playboy raid is really tongue in cheek - I'm sorry that wasn't clear. The Bunnies can free themselves - and will get booted by Hef after a few months anyways. But the point of this post, April, was not to create hits, but to point out the differing standards of the media on exploitation of women. Wonderful when 70-something Hef has cheap throwaway wives, awful when a religious guy marries two or more for life. I see a disconnect - but that' just myopic ol' me.

Some of you, like the media, are all outraged over a 16-year-old being married, and I am troubled by that as well - BUT IT'S LEGAL IN MOST STATES if there is parental consent. You can be even younger in some states - 13 in New Hampshire, for example, if you also get judicial consent. So if the laws define where our society draws the line between right and wrong, what's your problem with a married 16-year-old who certainly had parental consent? It was the allegation of abuse that justified the raid, according to authorities, and I am glad that they care about abuse. Rescue the girl, stop the perpetrator - amen - but how does that justify removing over 400 kids from their homes and stripping many away from their mothers? No chance of some religious bigotry at play, is there? I can understand that, for it's hard not to feel some bigotry toward some groups, especially if some of the allegations are true - but I think due process was denied for most of the children and parents.

Back to our trouble with marriage at age 16. Again, what's the inherent legal or even moral problem (stupid as it is) if the law permits it? (Again, I strongly oppose it and feel it hurts a girl in several ways - but can we use the police to stop that?)

I know several people who were married at age 16. My Cub Scout den mother (non-LDS, I think) when I was growing up in Boise Idaho told us how she married at age 16. My mother (who married at 25) told me then that 16 was too young, but didn't tell me it was appalling. A very intelligent and spiritual woman leader who lived here in Appleton for several years was married at 16. She told other young women that it is too early now and didn't want her daughters doing that, but it seemed fine back then. And in some immigrant communities, 16 is prime marriage time - and there's simply no problem for them in most parts of the US if there's parental consent (and frankly, they seem to get a pass in some states when marrying at 14 or 15). As I said, the laws of this land - in most regions - allow for teenage marriage if there is parental consent. So as foolish as it may seem, I'm not sure I can explain why marriage at 16 is inherently such a hideous evil that a whole community should be shut down and the kids parceled out to new parents, while rampant immorality at age 18 should be tolerated - or, in the case of the mainstream media - idolized and celebrated.

But please, leave Hef's girls alone - I wasn't really calling for a raid on the Mansion. But I hope some journalist, someday, makes a bit of a stink about what goes on there. Have you ever heard a mainstream media source talking about the excesses of female exploitation at the P. Mansion in anything but adulatory tones? He's a god to these people, making it hard for me to buy their moral outrage over married young women in a less glitzy compound and wearing much more modest attire. The FLDS approach is wrong, but the media certainly doesn't a steady moral compass.

Anonymous said...

We live in a society that promotes sexuality to 6 year-olds. Ever see the Mary Kate and Ashley line of lingerie for 6-10 year-olds? How about Bratz dolls? How about 'beauty pagents' for 6 year-olds where the parents paint their little girls up to look like whores?

Maybe we should take the children away from parents who purchase any of the above items or enter their little girls in pagents? Make no mistake, they are being 'groomed' to become men's playtoys.

Have you seen the way young teenage girls dress these days? Don't tell me they aren't being 'groomed.'

My childhood was horrific and my father was an atheist. So maybe we should remove all children from atheists homes.

Anonymous said...

Ok so now we're talking about how bad it is for teenage girls to get married? I just don't get it. Yes it is legal in some states, but I'm having trouble trying to see what that has to do with men getting many young women pregnant(when they're not married) and some by their own relatives.

And then their is the issue wiith abuse. I read online that punishment for the women would be getting beaten up by the father of their children even if they're pregnant, getting locked in the closet with no food for a while, and who knows what else. I truly hope that this isn't true, but it's what I read.

I also read that they would lie to the children telling them that if they would try to escape they would have to have sex with every man. How horrible is that? You can google it for yourself.

Now when the children become adults would they let them go if they wanted to?

Oh and I also read that they decided to take all the children because they felt it would be best if their mothers aren't there while they get interviewed just in case the children are told by their mothers what to say.

And now to Hef and his playboy bunnies; the women know what they're doing. Yes it is gross that most of them are young enough to be Hef's grandaughters, but he's not forcing them to stay. And from what I know he doesn't even want to get married. People want to see his work, as gross as it sounds. But what would happen if porn became illegal? Wow! Can you imagine? I don't think I want to so I'll leave it up to you.

Anonymous said...

"At 8:40 PM, April 17, 2008, Mormanity said... "

Good post Jeff, but no matter how clear your are there are those that just ------- will never see what point you are trying to cover.

Anonymous said...

Jack, said:

"Everyone is raised in some world view. Why are you so sure that the world view of the FLDS is wrong? Why are you so sure that yours is right? Have you really analyzed what you believe and why?"

No, that is why they make such sill statements that do. Most never read up and study on any of this they just get on and blog. May be we should raid them. just kidding.

Anonymous said...

Wow I find it hard to believe you people are so unclear on what Jeff's point was. This post I think hammers its point home quite well. I guess some people will always bee blind to what's right before their eyes...

Anonymous said...

Edmunds-Tucker Act

This act was repealed in 1978.
This act is found in US Code Title 48 & 1461. The full text of the act can be found as 24 Stat. 635, with this annotation to be interpreted as Volume 24, page 635 of United States Statutes at Large.

Anonymous said...

"Our crime has been: We married women of legal age instead of seducing them; we reared children instead of destroying them; we desired to exclude from the land prostitution, bastardy and infanticide. If George Reynolds [the man who was convicted of committing bigamy] is to be punished, let the world know the facts . . . . Let it be published to the four corners of the earth that in this land of liberty, the most blessed and glorious upon which the sun shines, the law is swiftly invoked to punish religion, but justice goes limping and blindfolded in pursuit of crime."

Halibut said...

The LDS Church sometimes covers up abuse from within. No pointing fingers.

Anonymous said...

"At 9:22 PM, April 17, 2008, Roxy said..."

There was a case in Calf. in I think the 80' where a bunch of kids said that a couple at a day care were having sex with all the kids and killing chickens to show what would happen to them if the talked. Again in Washington state one kid and a cop pointed the finger at a whole church was accused of sexual abuse. Again CPS Child Protective Services were shipping kids across state lines on a big money racket to protect them on accuactions of child abuse. All of the above cases were found to be false. The goverment needs to get it facts straight before it rolls in with the tanks and guns. Now the courts will make a ton of money and hurt a lot of people that are not guilty. The judge that gave out this order should be impeched, but now one in the goverment will ever be held accountable. These do gooder judges and lawyers turn loose child abuser every day to do it again. It is easy to go after the uneducated in the compound but it is another thing to punish the goverment for wrong doing.

Anonymous said...

This is so to the point that I want to repeat it by posting it again. I ask reasonable people to stop and ponder these words:

"Our crime has been: We married women of legal age instead of seducing them; we reared children instead of destroying them; we desired to exclude from the land prostitution, bastardy and infanticide. If George Reynolds [the man who was convicted of committing bigamy] is to be punished, let the world know the facts . . . . Let it be published to the four corners of the earth that in this land of liberty, the most blessed and glorious upon which the sun shines, the law is swiftly invoked to punish religion, but justice goes limping and blindfolded in pursuit of crime."

Amen. Amen.

Anonymous said...

Something else to reflect upon:

How Often Does a Teenager in Texas Get Pregnant?

* Every 10 minutes, a teen in Texas gets pregnant.

* Every 10 hours, a 14-year-old teen gets pregnant.

* Every 3 hours, a 15-year-old teen gets pregnant.

* Every 1.5 hours, a 16-year-old teen gets pregnant.

* Every 52 minutes, a 17-year-old-teen gets

* Every 35 minutes, an 18-year-old teen gets pregnant.

* Every 28 minutes, a 19-year-old teen gets pregnant.

What are the Outcomes?

* Every 10 minutes a teen gives birth.

* Every 48 minutes a teen has an abortion.

TEXAS: That's stats off of your own website http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/famplan/tpp
shtm yet their younger brothers and sisters don't get takin away from their parents.

Anonymous said...

Ok, as far as I know Jesus teaches that there will be NO marriage in heaven.

If the FLDS is so great, then why with all the troubles of the world do they look to religion to justify marrying more than one woman--why so much FOCUS on marrying children, and secrecy?

Christians are to let their light shine among men, so why then do FLDS live secluded on ranches?

the FLDS, like the religious group THe Family and others exist in order to placate the needs of men who seek power and authority and multiple sex partners, over love and equality...period.

Anonymous said...

OK. So you thought it was an amusing comparison, a 16 year old bride is legal and some of us are missing that. I think your missing the possibility that 416 children and 100+ women were housed in an environment of continuing abuse using the excuse of religion.

First, a girl who already has a baby at the age of 16 was not of legal age when she was violated. And I am not prepared to believe she was legally married with the protections of the law and the promise that she would be cherished, cared for and given the security of affection and regard. Are you?

But, the legality aside, let's just talk about the physical, spiritual and emotional well-being of the women at the YfZ as opposed to the women on The Girls Next Door. Having seen the women of YfZ on CNN I am more convinced than ever by their entire demeanor that they have been thoroughly and systematically abused and had their very humanity eradicated long before the state of TX intervened.

They cannot make eye contact. They have the thin, emotionless voices of small children. They cannot discuss the removal of the children with any appropriate emotion. They are robotic. Everything about them screams immature, frightened and vacant.

The women of The Girls Next Door, OTOH, are confident, lucid and vibrant. I may not think much of a life as a sex toy and clothes hanger but, if you are asking who is a better example of an adult woman, I think you've made a poor case for which is the preferred model because I'd choose Hefner's women without a second thought. They give every evidence that they have chosen the life they lead and that they could leave it, provide for themselves, move on to other productive venues and, generally, contribute to society by means other than their sexuality. They are, clearly, adults and independent.

I don't see the women of YfZ being able to contribute to anything. They are ghosts. They give no evidence that they could raise their children and certainly not that they could protect them from predatory adult males.

And I think you have a religious bias that interferes with your being able to see the most vile sort of annihilation of personality when it is right in front of your nose. I am GRATEFUL that the state of TX has undertaken trying to break that cycle. It is *evil* in modest dress. And I think apologists like you illustrate the profound legacy of the LDS in introducing the toxins of polygamy and patriarchy to US culture.

I don't hold Hugh Hefner in very high esteem but I hold the FLDS in none. And from what I am seeing of the soul of the LDS, not much more.

anonymous alice

April said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

To anonymous:

It should not be forgotten that there was a long period of ever increasing apostasy in the Church and that the Bible was in their "safe-keeping". It was nothing unusual to "correct" passages which did not fit in with "orthodox" theology.

Everyone has some guiding principles by which they live - everyone has, therefore, a religion. There are some who will use their religion to justify promiscuity; there are some who use it to justify murdering unborn children.

In the case of the FLDS, however, it seems to me that speaking of "justifying" marrying more than one woman is incorrect. Perhaps you think this is something that must be justified, but that is not the case, because it is not wrong. Oh yes, the world sees it that way, but since when did the world care about the things of God?

It has only been in this last century and only in the West that people are considered to still be children long after reaching puberty. For all the time that went before and still in other cultures a girl became a woman at puberty.

Considering the hostility of the world to the way of life that the FLDS wishes to pursue, is it really any wonder that they tend to withdraw and stay to themselves?

You speak of "love and equality". Have you ever stopped to consider that God made us man and woman and gave each of us a definite role to fulfil? A man should be a man and do those things which God has set apart for the man's role; a woman should be a woman and fulfil her role.

Interestingly, people who are raised to follow the above teaching I imagine you would label as "brainwashed"; however, those who are raised to reject it you would refer to as "liberated", right?

April said...

"We married women of legal age instead of seducing them; we reared children instead of destroying them; we desired to exclude from the land prostitution, bastardy and infanticide. "

No they don't always marry women of legal age. And you don't think that the mother's aren't coercing the young girls into having an older "established" husband? I find it hard to believe that a 14 year old girl could lay naked in bed with a 50 year old man and feel comfortable. So yes, coercion is definitely part of the sick and twisted game they play in God's name.

By sheltering children, we do nothing more than prevent our future progression. Knowledge is the key to the future, and if everyone were FLDS and ignorant of what is really happening in the world, we would never get anywhere.

The LDS people have faults, however they have managed to understand how to rear children without the need to dumb them down, or shelter them from society. And they are among the most brilliant and talented people on Earth.

Ms. Munroe - Look it up. Joseph Smith didn't just "make up" polygamy. It has been common for centuries. Not necessarily looked favorably upon at times, and other times it has been needed, but it has been around. And it is NOT needed now.

Also, the age of CONSENT in the 1800’s was 10 and 12. Now it is 16.

The world doesn’t need a breeding ground. These people are sick for wanting their young girls to get pregnant, solely for the purpose of “raising seed unto the gospel.” It’s funny that everyone else in society is ostracized for getting pregnant by an older man at age 14. Don’t come up with the excuse that these babies are raised in better homes than most of society’s teenage pregnancies – they’re not. They are simply committing gross crimes, hiding behind a fake religion, and teaching young girls that their purpose in life is to be a mother by 13 and serve their grandfathers –oops – husbands.

Jeff, I know your purpose isn’t to defend polygamy (at this point in time I guess) – but anyone who thinks those children shouldn’t have been taken is DEAD WRONG. They didn’t have time to go through every child and scientifically or psychologically prove they have been abused. They removed them from a dangerous environment. People who say these families are “safe” and raise their children well have a distorted view of how families should be. Just because they don’t commit crime in society, doesn’t mean they don’t commit crime. Just because they appear to have a strong family unit, doesn’t mean that that family unit isn't inbred. Just because they exclude themselves from the world, doesn’t mean they are any better for it.

And I completely agree with anonymous alice.

JACK - Yes, it used to be acceptable. It's not anymore. Girls used to be, and in other society's are considered women at puberty. This is America, and it's not the 1800s. God gave us biological roles to fulfill, yes. This doesn't mean that we need to reproduce like we're re-populating. One man to one woman. They are equal, but different. Simple.

Anonymous said...

"The women of The Girls Next Door, OTOH, are confident, lucid and vibrant. I may not think much of a life as a sex toy and clothes hanger but, if you are asking who is a better example of an adult woman, I think you've made a poor case for which is the preferred model because I'd choose Hefner's women without a second thought. They give every evidence that they have chosen the life they lead and that they could leave it, provide for themselves, move on to other productive venues and, generally, contribute to society by means other than their sexuality. They are, clearly, adults and independent."

Perhaps you have no idea what characteristics God wants to see in a woman.

Anonymous said...

April, could it be that you've been brainwashed by the world?

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps you have no idea what characteristics God wants to see in a woman."

I very much doubt he created them with brains and personalities only to have them abusively extinquished by men and have others sitting on the sidelines excusing it. And in that the women of The Girls Next Door have their inner lights intact they are capable of finding better ways to live their lives and share their gifts.

The zombies of YfZ are walking dead. Only the dead are more fortunate because they won't suffer fear and loss every day of their lives.

I remain grateful to the state of TX for attempting to break this cycle. I am disgusted with the state of UT that it's allowed it to continue for 100 years and AZ that it has let it grow and flourish.

Meanwhile, Warren Jeff's group is continuing to buy properties and move these cancerous abusing communities to SD, CO and ID. While this prospers and spreads apologists will share the guilt with the perpetrators.

anonymous alice

April said...

April, could it be that you've been brainwashed by the world?

What's the definition of "brainwashed?" I never used that definition describing these people.

Of course it is possible that I have been brainwashed by the world. But then everyone else besides the FLDS are brainwashed too, not just me. In which case, we need to work on brainwashing the FLDS to believe in US, rather than the other way around.

Have we all been brainwashed to assume that gay marriage is bad? That murder is bad? That abortion is bad? That polygamy is bad? Not that I am equating them all, they are all on different levels.

It is not acceptable to be brainwashed into something GOOD, rather than something evil like child molestation and rape?

April said...

*IS IT not acceptable to be brainwashed into something GOOD, rather than something evil like child molestation and rape?

Anonymous said...

Hi All,

Jeff I have to commend you on this posting. This has been one of the better posts you've done, even though I disagree with much of your stance on it. So far in following the dialogue, I've seen some of the most insightful comments on both sides of this debate. I do have a few more things to add to the thoughts.

Anonymous Alice, I have to agree wholeheartedly with you as to why God created women with brains and personality. If women were supposed to be merely mother's completely subservient to men, God would've created them that way. Instead, he created men and women as equals, regardless of the distortions made by society. Women were created to be equal partners to men, its only men who have made them less than that. God always made women equal.

I can't imagine being married to a woman with no intellect, or ability to make decisions for herself. Men out there may think this would be a good idea, but I ask you to really think about what that would mean. Can you imagine spending eternity with someone who had no ability to communicate with you, no ability to think for herself. My wife is the most brilliant person I know. I can imagine me even staying married to her if she had been created without a brains and a personality. That's what makes her the most beautiful woman to me.

The distortion the FLDS church has made is that it church has reduced these young girls to mere chattels, they aren't women, they are property for these men. What's worse, is that every one of these girls have been taught that this is God's will, and that it is "normal" for girls to serve their husbands.

There is some merit to the argument that the women posing for Mr. Hefner, and being exploited by him have been taught that they mere objects, but the difference is that they are consenting adults. The FLDS girls are not.

One might argue that a 14 year girl is a woman because she has passed through puberty, but have you talked to a 14 year old girl recently. They may be women, but the majority of them are not adults in any sense of the word. That's because being an adult takes more than just passing through puberty. It's about maturity, and responsiblity. Age does make a difference. Girls mature faster than boys, and an 18 year girl, generally is far more mature than an 18 year old. Take some time and actually talk to these kids and you'll understand what I'm talking about.

Jack, perhaps you'd like to share with us what God's see as appropriate characteristics in a woman.

Jayleen, you are very much correct. Young girls are being groomed to be sex objects. But you've missed an important point. Our young boys are also being groomed to veiw young girls as sex objects. Consider how boys are socialized in American Society. Father's, if there is an involved father, are teaching their sons that its a right of passage, to engage in promiscuity. American Boys are taught that having sex is what makes them men. What's worse, is that american girls are being taught the same thing in today's society. Groups like the FLDS only compound the problem with this kind of programing that young girls are only good for bearing children and keeping the house clean. That kind of "barefoot" and "pregnant" mentality is a disgrace when you consider that we're supposed to be equal partners.

We can call for raids of these types of compounds, and maybe even the Playboy Mansion, and were still not going to reach the root of the problem. That's because the root of the problem is that male and female roles have been distorted, mostly by men, for centuries. To fix the problem, will take a change in how we view ourselves and our female counterparts.

I've probably been on the soap box a bit too long here so I'll conclude. Take care all

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

That sentence should've read I can't imagine me even staying married to her...

sorry for the typo.

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

Catholic Defender, I must say that for the posts about the Texas raid and this one, I agree with every one of your comments. You have some very good points people should read and try to understand.

Now to the Anon that responded to my last comment earlier today, if you read my comment in the Texas raid post you'll see what I had to say about assumptions. I would be pretty freaked out if my house was raided because one of my many cousins cried rape. But I wouldn't be worried about me, I would be worried about my cousin and I would want the criminal to be caught and for my whole entire family to help out as much as they could.

I can see why some might think that I'm just too blind to see why people are defending the FLDS. And I'm sorry if some of you think that, but I'm just trying to understand why, is all. And maybe I'm taking this a bit personal because some of it seems familiar to me. I know what it's like to think that something is right when in fact it isn't.

When I was a child I was sexualy abused by a close relative and not knowing what had really happened and what to do at the time, I just told the person who I thought I could trust more than anyone: my mother. Only to have my parents think that I'm just lying. So for years I was forced to try to forget about it and tell no one. But when I was old enough to finally realize what had really happened I still didn't know what to do. So I told a close friend and to make this long and painful story short nothing changed. My whole family found out and they too thought I was mental. Who can I trust? What can I do? 'Til this day I can't help but feel guilty because I didn't speak out more or do more. You see I too am thinking about the children. They might think that it's what they're supposed to do, but it's not. They have a choice like I did and I just hope that it's not too late for them as it was for me. They need help and they need it now.

April said...

Roxy - Sorry for your traumatic childhood story. This is exactly why Texas was COMPLETELY justified.

These children are already trapped enough by their parents. Too trapped to readily admit something is wrong in the first place.

I can also see how children would be conflicted. If their parents said, "Don't tell anyone or they will take you away from us." Children might not want to tell, even if it meant escaping rape or molestation.

Everyone should be taken seriously in claims like this. There's no room for assumptions.

Jeff Lindsay said...

April, you highlight the "yuck" factor very well.

Anonymous said...

Roxy- So very sorry for what happened to you. You are a brave and generous woman to try to use that ugly experience to try to help others from being similarly exploited.

And your story underscores why the state of TX should be supported in the Herculean task that was thrust upon them.

anonymous alice

Anonymous said...

Roxy, said:

"Now to the Anon that responded to my last comment earlier today, if you read my comment in the Texas raid post you'll see what I had to say about assumptions."

As for this Anon when I state some thing about anyones comments it is about the comment not you as a person. People have said some shocking things about things I have said but I know it was not about me because they do not know me it was about the words I used. I am sure there are many that read this post that have been abused or know people that have been abused and it does give them a unique view into these events. We all hope and pray for the best for them. My big concern is becareful of goverment abuse. Foster care has about 30% abuse cases. So just the state taking the kids then giving them over to foster care is not necessarly the answer. One foster care case I know of so starved the kids that the looked like they got out of a prison camp and had to crawl out their bed room windows to get snow to something to drink. Such things happen all over the US and I am sure Tx. is no different.

Anonymous said...

"Groups like the FLDS only compound the problem with this kind of programing that young girls are only good for bearing children and keeping the house clean."

Only a little something called marrage and having a family. How do you know that is all they are taught. As a 40 year convert to the Normal Mormon church all these things have been said about the members of the Salt Lake City church. As normal you need to brush up on the Catholic religion. Marrage, big families which may require women to stay at home clean.

Jeff Lindsay said...

Roxy, I just got to your post where you shared the pain of your past. An unexpected theme for several years in my life was being regularly involved in working with people who had been sexually abused as a child. Outsiders like myself can't fully grasp the pain and loneliness they faced, especially when others wouldn't believe them or thought they were being malicious. What's worse is when people did believe and know, but chose to do nothing. Sometimes a mother or other friend also felt trapped and helpless, when real help was available.

Here is the horrible dilemma. False accusations of child abuse can rip apart families and destroy lives. Ignored pleas for help can leave victims in despair. I've seen destruction on both sides of the equation. Great caution - prayerful caution - must be applied. Laws must be followed. The victims must be treated with tenderness and compassion.

With that in mind, if there was credible evidence that 416 children were all in immediate physical danger, then round them up and take them away from the perpetrators (50-year-old men, for example). I just can't fathom the justification for immediately separating hundreds of children from their mothers - on the basis of sweeping allegations from someone who may have been playing a vicious hoax on a group that, however wrong and strange they are and however criminal some of their actions may be found to be in the end, still has Constitutional rights.

My original point is that I've seen families and situations just as horrible here in Wisconsin, without ever seeing authorities strip young innocent children from their mothers when the mothers weren't immediate physical threats to the kids. How can they justify this mass action?

Doug Forbes said...

Robert, you miss the point. Furthermore, there is no guarantee or neccesseity of polygamy in the highest part of the Celestial Kingdom. There will probably be monogamous couples there too. Perhaps they will even form the majority. As to Hefner, Jeff is right. The most offensive part of the anti-polygamy argument is the hypocracy. Make all sex outside of marriage a crime and I will have respect for them. However, neither the fedral government nor the any state has had the will to do that. The most disgusting example of hypocracy was in the 19th century when congress took care to keep prostitution legal while outlawing polygamy.

BTW: the link below provides age of consent around the world. It is interesting reading.


Anonymous said...

I must say that when I first heard about what happened down in texas, I felt really angry and disgusted and immediately started to blame the parents even without knowing all the facts. I'm starting to understand more about what Jeff is trying to say. And maybe I did understand a little before, but again I just wanted to point the finger at someone. I hope some of you can forgive me for being too sensitive about this. I always enjoy your posts Jeff and hope to continue to see more of them.

Anonymous said...

ok that last comment was mine. My bad.

Jeff Lindsay said...

Roxy, this is a blog - you're not supposed to listen and think and perhaps even modify your views. You're supposed to spout off and ignore what's being said and get highly offended at differing ideas. Now you've gone and set a dangerous precedent!


Just don't let it happen again.

(Really appreciate your perspectives and input. Serious thanks.)

Anonymous said...

So sorry, I'll try to remember that; ) And a serious thank you to you, Jeff.

Anonymous said...

Roxy, you go girl!

Anonymous said...

Woop woop!!

Anonymous said...

Though I'd be saddened and disappointed if my daughter posed for Playboy and lived with Hef at the Mansion, I would choose that alternative any day over the alternative of her marrying as a teenager into a polygamous family and living on a compound. And it's not even close. It's like choosing between, I don't know, say, death by flesh-eating virus (polygamy) and a broken arm (playboy/hef).

Despite your repeated attempts to draw a comparison, this is not about morality, or older men sleeping with younger women, this is about the extreme lack of free agency bordering on slavery, and community-wide systematic brainwashing.

Anonymous said...

Matt Thurston said...

"Despite your repeated attempts to draw a comparison, this is not about morality, or older men sleeping with younger women, this is about the extreme lack of free agency bordering on slavery, and community-wide systematic brainwashing."

I must be reading a different post or web page that most people on this blog. I don't see how Jeff could be more clear. The main points was did the goverment over react, freedom of religion, rights under the law, ect., not a compound of agency bordering on slavery or that the playboy bunnies compare to abuse. I looks to me like people need to read closer or get a life.

Anonymous said...

Hef is just doing what others have done, although I don't think he had some imaginary flaming sword over his head telling him he MUST have young women; Many young women.
"Really honey, I must marry all these other women or the angel said he would cut off my head"
Ohhh boy.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. It's upsetting how people look the other way because Hugh Hefner has as much money as he does. You can't tell me for a minute that he doesn't let ANY girls in who are under 18. He's just as guilty of those kinds of things as any of those men in Texas. He just knows how to hide it. Money is good for hiding things under.

I think that it's time for people to stop thinking it's great that teens "experiment" with their sexuality, but the minute they want to do it with someone just a few years older, that's bad. Get real. To a teenage girl or boy, there is nothing more flattering than the fact an older person is interested in them. I've seen that behavior in my life. The only way to stop the cycle is to stop encouraging the behavior.

And no, two years doesn't make that big of a difference in a person's level of thinking, but when something like this is illegal, it makes all the difference.