Polygamists Condemn Thomas to a Long and Excruciatingly Painful Death by Burying Him Up to His Tiny Neck Inside a Steel Post Filled with Wet Concrete
|Thomas Struggles in Vain to Free Himself|
"Dead cats have been found in our place for years. This is the first time they've done it with a live animal."
-- Isaac Wyler
A gray-colored kitten named Thomas of undetermined age is dead and, as it so often has been the case over the course of the past two millenniums, Christians are to blame for his death. With outrageous slanders and cold-blooded en masse executions no longer sufficient in order to slake their unquenchable lust for feline blood, on this occasion they made doubly certain that Thomas's demise was inordinately prolonged and excruciatingly painful by burying him up to his tiny neck in wet concrete inside a cylindrical seven-foot-high steel post that was destined to become part of a shed for horses.
This diabolical act of animal cruelty began to unfold sometime after 3 p.m. on May 31st at Isaac Wyler's horse ranch at 480 North Juniper Street in Colorado City, Arizona. Along with its sister city of Hildale, located just across the border in Utah, Colorado City is a thoroughly lawless and morally repugnant polygamist community founded and run by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. (FLDS).
Since concrete hardens rather quickly in the summer heat, "someone had to have been watching us work on this project the whole time," Wyler's friend and helper, Andrew Chatwin, later told The Salt Lake Tribune on July 11th. (See "Cat Buried in Concrete in Colorado City.") "Someone had to have done it quickly right after I left."
Sadly, Wyler and Chatwin did not discover Thomas's plight until they returned the following day in order to continue their work on the horse shelter and by that time it was too late in order to save him. To their credit, however, they were able to extricate him by cutting away the steel post but that still left large chunks of hardened concrete embedded in his fur.
They attempted to chip away the concrete before telephoning Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, forty kilometers away, who sent a representative to come and collect Thomas. Despite the charity's best efforts, he died three days later on June 4th as the result of his massive injuries. The organization has not publicly disclosed either what was done with his remains or if any memorial is planned.
It is remotely possible that Thomas's life could have been saved if Chatwin and Wyler had not squandered so much valuable time videotaping the rescue. Although they were expelled from the FLDS in 2004 by it now incarcerated leader, Warren Steed Jeffs, the apostates refused to locate elsewhere and as a result they have been at war with the church-run establishment in Colorado City ever since. Not surprisingly, they were far more concerned with gathering evidence that they could use against the FLDS in court than they were with saving Thomas's life.
Of course, private citizens like Chatwin and Wyler do not have a monopoly on misplaced priorities and corrupted agendas. For example, in January and February of this year the International Fund for Animal Welfare deliberately allowed more than a hundred stranded dolphins to die on Cape Cod while it wasted time collecting blood samples and attaching GPS tracking devices to their dorsal fins. (See Cat Defender post of February 16, 2012 entitled "Hawk Suffers Puncture Wounds to His Stomach and One Paw When He Is Abducted by a Raptor Hired to Patrol a City Dump on Vancouver Island" and Living on Earth, February 10, 2012, "Dolphin Strandings.")
Even more disturbing, both men can be heard chuckling in a video entitled "Cat Buried Alive in Concrete Being Rescued" that Chatwin shot and later posted on YouTube. "You don't see that very often, do you?" one of them asked. "No, ha, ha, ha," Wyler replied.
In another exchange that was recorded while Chatwin was chipping away the concrete from an obviously terrified and anguished Thomas, one of them can be heard to say, "I think that hurts -- pounding away, ha, ha, ha."
In both instances the chuckling possibly could be interpreted simply as nervous laughter but regardless of the motivation it was eerily out of place and totally inappropriate.
Although the FLDS is believed to own practically every inch of both Colorado City and Hildale as well as to control both the minds and actions of all of the joint-community's roughly eight-thousand residents, Chatwin and Wyler excepted, the church has strenuously denied any involvement in Thomas's murder. "It's really inappropriate to try to extend that the FLDS church on the basis of nothing at all, except a dead cat," the church's shyster, Rodney Parker, told the Daily Herald of Provo on July 11th. (See "Arizona Authorities Probing Kitten Cruelty Case.") "They don't even have evidence it was a church member, let alone the church."
Old Parker Bird can dissemble and prevaricate until the cows come home but with the city comprised almost exclusively of FLDS members and with a so-called God's Squad that keeps all visitors under constant surveillance it would have been virtually impossible for anyone else to have perpetrated this heinous crime. Besides, all city officials and the members of the Colorado City-Hildale Marshal's Office are members of the FLDS.
In addition to motive and opportunity, residents of Colorado City, and sans doute Hildale as well, have a long history of abusing and killing cats. "Dead cats have been found in our place for years," Wyler averred to The Salt Lake Tribune in the article cited supra. "This is the first time they've done it with a live animal."
Specifically, Wyler has discovered at least a dozen dead cats on his property in recent years and some of his horses have been subjected to unspecified abuse. Moreover, if the FLDS is so willing to kill cats in an attempt to drive Wyler out of town it likely has employed the same gruesome modus operandi against other church members who have had the temerity to step out of line.
In order to put things in their proper perspective, it is important to point out that the FLDS is far from being the only group that abuses and kill cats in order to bend individuals to their will. Au contraire, it is a rather common tactic that the police and various rescue groups employ all the time in order to get rid of the homeless.
For example, late last year Animal Control in Bristol Township, Pennsylvania, and the Bucks County SPCA confiscated Barbara Morrell's two cats in order to get shed of her. (See Cat Defender post of March 2, 2012 entitled "Homeless Man in Washington State Pauses in Order to Take a Snooze and It Ends Up Costing Him His Beloved Cat, Herman.")
|Help Finally Arrives but It Is Too Late to Save Thomas|
Power and authority are accumulated for the sole purpose of abusing people, animals, and Mother Earth. In most instances, monikers and ideology are totally irrelevant. Lord Acton put it best when he said that "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Every bit as abhorrent as what was done to Thomas and countless other cats, Jeffs in 20021 banned dogs from both Colorado City and Hildale and as a result all of them were rounded up, shot, and buried in a slaughter pit. As far as it is known, these despicable crimes never have been so much as even investigated by either the police or any animal protection group.
As a tool of the FLDS, the Marshal's Office aids and abets the polygamists in the commission of their crimes. For example, in 2010 alone twenty to twenty-five criminal complaints were lodged against it with the Mohave County Sheriff's Office.
The so-called defenders of law and order were accused of, inter alia, killing domestic animals, releasing livestock from fenced-in enclosures, plowing under crops, trespassing, damaging private property, and harassment. (See Mohave Daily News of Bullhead City, Arizona, September 5, 2010, "Sheriff's Office Investigating Colorado City Police Activities.")
After sitting idly by and purposefully ignoring the blatant lawlessness that has prevailed in both Colorado City and Hildale ever since their founding by the FLDS a century ago, the Civil Rights Division of the United States Justice Department in Washington finally took action against both of them in June by filing a lawsuit that alleges that they have been operated as arms of the polygamists for the past twenty years.
In particular, Wyler and others are claiming that they have been, inter alia, systematically denied housing, building permits, water, electricity, and access to public spaces. They also allege that not only have they been denied protection, but that they have been subjected to police harassment, illegal stops, and had false charges leveled against them.
They furthermore contend that their properties have been vandalized and that they even have been denied service in restaurants. (See Deseret News of Salt Lake City, July 18, 2012, "'Apostate' Challenges Radical FLDS Sect with Civil Rights Lawsuit.")
With the Marshal's Office and the political establishment in both cities being completely under the thumb of the FLDS it is not surprising that there is absolutely zero interest in apprehending and punishing Thomas's murderer. "Throw dirt on it (Thomas)," is reportedly what an unidentified city marshal told Chatwin according to a video entitled "Colorado City, Arizona." (See Huffington Post, July 9, 2012, Cat Buried in Concrete a Warning Message from Polygamists.")
Town Marshall Curtis Cook reportedly took some photographs, interviewed a few nearby residents, and then declared the case to be closed. His boss, acting chief marshal Helaman Barlow, insists that is not the case. "It's an extremely sad incident, and it's an ongoing investigation," he declared to the Daily Herald in the article cited supra.
Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan has been equally equivocal. "We're looking to see if there's anything we can do about it because it's absolutely cruel," he told the Daily Herald.
Even Wyler does not have a scintilla of interest in bringing Thomas's killer to justice. "How do you catch someone doing that?" he complained to The Salt Lake Tribune in the article cited supra. "Unless someone comes and confesses you're never going to know."
As is its custom whenever a particularly abhorrent case of feline cruelty makes the headlines, PETA was jolly-on-the-spot in order to proffer up a totally insignificant $2,500 reward in return for information leading to the arrest of Thomas's killer. (See The Salt Lake Tribune, July 12, 2012, "PETA Offers Reward in Case of Kitten Buried in Concrete Near Utah Border.")
It is ironic, to say the least, that PETA even would indulge in such beau geste considering that if it had gotten its hands on even a perfectly healthy Thomas it immediately would have snuffed out his life. Quite obviously, hypocrisy and lies are every bit as important as money and guns when it comes to keeping this wicked old world spinning and in orbit. (See Cat Defender post of October 7, 2011 entitled "PETA Traps and Kills a Cat and Then Shamelessly Goes Online in Order to Brag about Its Criminal and Foul Deed.")
Best Friends followed PETA down the well-trodden path of beau geste by offering to part with $5,000 if Thomas's killer could be identified and arrested. Beyond that, its comments regarding this troubling case are a good deal more nuanced and puzzling. "We are all deeply saddened at seeing what he went through, and knowing that someone out there clearly has suffered so much in their own life to feel justified inflicting this kind of cruelty on another living being," an unidentified spokesperson for the organization told The Salt Lake Tribune in the July 11th article cited supra.
First of all, Best Friends has not produced any evidence that even remotely suggests that Thomas's killer was the victim of past abuse. On the contrary, all the available evidence points to the considerably more likely conclusion that he is a gutless, evil individual who most assuredly is unworthy of the sympathy of either Best Friends or any sensible person.
It is, however, Best Friends' deplorable defense of the FLDS that is most revolting. "Colorado City residents care deeply about their animals and they have brought hundreds of them to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary for spaying and neutering," the organization's Gregory Castle proclaimed in the face of all facts and reasoning to the contrary in a July 13th article posted on the group's web site. (See "$5,000 Reward Offered by Best Friends.")
From the limited amount of information available in the public domain, it is known that dozens, if not indeed hundreds, of cats and dogs have been systematically abused and slaughtered in Colorado City-Hildale just within the past decade. Every bit as troubling, since Best Friends is so intimately involved in the community it is nothing short of disgraceful that it has not previously intervened in order to stop the abuse and killing.
Even in parts of Utah where polygamy is not officially practiced, mainstream Mormons treat cats and dogs almost as abysmally as does the FLDS. For instance, municipalities such as West Valley City still insist upon disposing of unwanted cats and dogs via en masse gassings.
Oftentimes, these animals are subjected to multiple attempts upon their lives when the gas chambers fail for one reason or another. (See Cat Defender posts of November 12, 2011 and February 7, 2012 entitled, respectively, "The Multiple Attempts Made Upon Andrea's Life Graphically Demonstrate the Urgent Need for an Immediate Ban on the Killing of All Shelter Animals" and "Long-Suffering Andrea Finally Secures a Permanent Home after Incredibly Surviving Quadruple Attempts Made on Her Life by an Unrepentant Utah Shelter.")
Brigham Young University in Provo has turned its already severely neglected and abused resident felines into guinea pigs and it would have liquidated all of them in 2010 if it had not been for widespread opposition from outside the state. (See Cat Defender post of July 18, 2011 entitled "Evil Professors Have Transformed College Campuses into Hotbeds of Hatred Where Cats Routinely Are Vilified, Horribly Abused, and Systematically Killed.")
If all of that were not bad enough, the most famous Mormon of all, Mitt Romney, has acknowledged horribly mistreating his dog, Seamus. That, by the way, should not be misconstrued as a back-door endorsement of Barack Obama whose policies on a wide assortment of issues, such as the slaughter of innocent cats on San Nicolas and in the Florida Keys as well as the killing of wolves in the Rockies and Great Lakes, are nothing short of appalling. (See The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 22, 2012, "Why Seamus Matters.")
Overall, neither mainstream nor fundamentalist Mormons are very much favorably disposed toward animals. Moreover, the glaring absence of a single practicing veterinarian in either Colorado City or Hildale is yet still another poignant example of how little regard the FLDS has for animals.
Contrary to what some animal protection groups preach, sterilization is neither the alpha nor the omega of a compassionate animal rights agenda any more than is PETA's patently immoral trap and kill policies. It conceivably could be argued that through both its en masse sterilizations and defense of the FLDS that Best Friends has been complicit in the church's diabolical crimes.
Best Friends' affinity for the FLDS possibly can be explained by its own unorthodox views on religion. For example it began as a Scientology splinter group known as The Process Church of the Final Judgment way back in the 1960's.
Originally headquartered in London, it underwent several permutations over the course of the following two decades that saw it change its name first to The Foundation Faith of the Millennium and then to The Foundation Faith in God. During that period it was located for a while in Xtul on the Yucatan Peninsula and then later in New Orleans before finally changing it name to Best Friends in 1984 and relocating to the heart of Mormon country.
According to Wikipedia, the central tenet of its theology is the unity of Christ and Satan and, even more astounding, one of the church's early converts is rumored to have been mass murderer Charles Manson. At the very least, members of the cult have admitted to visiting him in jail.
Exactly how Best Friends graduated from processean theology into animal rescue surely must be an absorbing story. Nevertheless, as far as it is known this is the first time that it has allowed theological concerns to intrude into it work which, outwardly at least, has been nothing short of commendable.
In particular, it has rescued cats and dogs left homeless in the wake of Katrina, saved hundreds of others from the ravages of war-torn Lebanon, and gone to bat for Michael Vick's horribly abused dogs when both PETA and the Humane Society of the United States wanted to kill all of them. (See Cat Defender posts of December 19, 2005 and October 12, 2006 entitled, respectively, "At Least One-Hundred-Thousand Cats and Dogs Were Killed by Katrina Along the Gulf Coast," and "A Few Hundred Cats and Dogs Are Airlifted Out of Lebanon but Cluster Bombs and an Oil Slick Continue to Kill Animals and Marine Life.")
Experience has shown, however, that no animal protection group can be taken at face value. For instance, surprise inspections of Best Friends' sanctuaries and shelters might very well cast the organization in an entirely different light.
The verdict also might be something other than positive if it were forced to account for the welfare of every animal that it impounds. Although it claims to be a no-kill operation, all rescue groups kill animals to a certain degree. (See Cat Defender post of May 17, 2010 entitled "Julie Levy and Her Henchmen Ride to the Rescue of Maury Swee's Severely Neglected Cats and Promptly Slaughter at Least One-Hundred-Eighty-Five of Them.")
That entails first and foremost the conscientious and meticulous collection of forensic evidence, such as cat hairs, fibers from the clothing of assailants, DNA data, fingerprints, and molds made from tire tracks. Door-to-door interviews of both witnesses and suspects, police stakeouts of known sites of abuse, and surveillance technology are all essential components of any halfway serious investigation.
Until the law enforcement community and rescue groups are willing to commit the resources and expertise to the apprehension of animal abusers these despicable crimes are destined to continue unabated. Declarations of moral outrage and insincere offers of minuscule monetary rewards, such as those offered by PETA and Best Friends in this case, are little more than excuses for doing nothing and simply accepting animal cruelty as an unpleasant fact of life.
Although polygamy has been illegal in the eastern United States ever since Congress passed the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act of 1862 and likewise in Utah since 1890, is nonetheless still practiced by an estimated forty-thousand residents living in Utah and Arizona. Nationwide, it is estimated that there could be as many as one-hundred-thousand practicing polygamists.
The eight-thousand members of the FLDS in Colorado City and Hildale therefore constitute only a small fraction of the problem. Furthermore, not all polygamists live in group settings, but rather some of them reside in secular communities where their abhorrent practices go largely undetected.
Not surprisingly, it is women who suffer the most under the weight of this odious system. Forced to dress up in frontier attire and to style their hair in a manner that was en vogue two centuries ago, young girls are deprived of educational opportunities, contact with the outside world, and most everything that even remotely might be considered to be a normal childhood.
Specifically, some of the four-hundred children temporarily removed from a seventeen-hundred-acre FLDS compound known as the YFZ Ranch in Eldorado, south of Texas city of San Angelo, in April of 2008 had led such sheltered lives that they never had even seen crayons or eaten cereal. (See Houston Chronicle, April 5, 2008, "Arrest Made in Search of Polygamist Compound.")
As soon as they reach the age of twelve they are parceled out to dirty old men in their fifties, sixties, and even older to be employed a brood mares and slaves. Shortly thereafter they are impregnated and a new cycle of adolescent sexual exploitation, physical abuse, social isolation, and limited educational opportunities begins anew.
With a never-ending supply of nubile young sex partners to fill out the ranks of their harems, Mormon men thus are thus able to live out their fantasies as despotic dirty old men so long as they do not offend church elders. Once that happens they are unceremoniously expelled from the community and face an uncertain future in an outside world that even they are woefully unprepared to cope with and that often is openly hostile to them.
For instance, of the four-hundred or so men that Jeffs kicked out of Colorado City and Hildale between 2001 and 2006 some of them ended up as homeless dope addicts on the streets of Hurricane, thirty-five kilometers away in Utah. Adding insult to injury, Jeffs confiscated their wives and children and gave them to his cronies to manipulate and exploit.
The financial burden on society also is huge in that just about all the women and children in these communities are forced to subsist on welfare, Food Stamps, and Medicaid. Even the income of the males tends to rather limited owing to their lack of education which relegates them to blue collar jobs in ranching, construction, driving trucks, and as loggers in Canada.
Welfare and tax fraud reportedly also are rampant. It nevertheless is odd that the FLDS's financial arm, United Effort Plan, has a $114 million endowment. This has allowed it to purchase and build entire communities like Colorado City, Hildale, and YFZ Ranch.
Whereas governmental handouts, low-paying jobs, and various scams may be sufficient in order to keep these communities financially afloat once they have been founded, that does nothing to explain where the FLDS gets its start-up money. This is purely speculation but the most likely sources of such largess would be the mainstream LDS church and those sympathetic to the practice of polygamy. If there is any validity to that assertion then polygamy is considerably more widespread and endemic than either the press, social commentators, or the politicians are willing to admit.
Furthermore, it is not as if the myriad of abuses associated with this so-called religion are unknown to politicians; on the contrary, they are anything but hidden, especially in Utah. "We have thousands of women pulled out of school at an early age, forced into marriages with older men, kept isolated from society, constantly impregnated, and often placed on public assistance with no financial means of their own," former Utah State Senator Ron Allen, a Mormon himself, acknowledged to The Financial Times of London on October 28, 2000. (See "Seven Brides for One Brother: Plural Marriage Is Rife in the Western United States.") "They are forgotten citizens facing abuse and fear. On top of it all, the victims are constantly taught that god is pleased as punch abut the whole deal. It has to stop."
As terrible as the naked exploitation of women, sexual abuse of children, and the raiding of the public till may be, all of that pales in comparison with the dire genetic consequences associated with endemic incest and inbreeding. Specifically, Colorado City and Hildale have the highest concentrations of Fumarase Deficiency (FD), also known as Polygamist Down's, in the world.
Up until 1990 only thirteen cases of the malady had been confirmed worldwide but since then at least twenty have been diagnosed in Colorado City and Hildale alone. A nasty disease by almost any yardstick, FD is characterized by and associated with, inter alia, severe mental retardation, grand mal epileptic seizures, facial deformities, malformed brains, Attention Deficit Disorder, fused appendages, genital abnormalities, dwarfism, autism, and Tourette's Syndrome.
|Women and Children of YFZ Ranch in Eldorado|
The disease is so debilitating that it sometimes turns its victims into vegetables. "I don't want to describe it in too much detail. It's not a real pretty sight," Wyler confided to the Deseret Times of Salt Lake City on February 9, 2006. (See "Birth Defect Is Plaguing Children in FLDS Towns.") "I've seen some children that can talk and communicate a little. And I've seen others that are totally laid out. They have no movement. They can't do anything by themselves. Literally, if they're eight-years-old, it's like taking care of a baby."
Dr. Theodore Tarby, an Arizona neurologist who has treated some of the victims, estimates their average intelligent quotient to be at around twenty-five. In that light it can only be wondered what former United States Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes would have said about that if he were still alive today.
After all, it was he who authored the Court's infamous 1927 opinion in Carrie Buck v Dr. James H. Bell, 274 U.S. 200, which upheld a Virginia statute that allowed for the compulsory sterilization of those declared to be unfit and mentally retarded. "Three generations of imbeciles are enough!" Holmes wrote to his, the court's, and this country's eternal shame.
Worst still, the prevalence of FD is predicted to only get worse in the years ahead because an astounding fifty per cent of the residents of Colorado City and Hildale are believed to carry the recessive gene that causes the disorder. That is attributable to the fact that ninety per cent of the residents of the joint-community are believed to be genetically related to either or both Joseph Smith Jessop and John Y. Barlow who founded it in 1913.
Old and damaged sperm also could be contributing to the prevalence of FD. For example, recent research out of both Australia and Israel has found that children fathered by old men are more likely to have learning disabilities. The results are preliminary and apply only to non-polygamist men but nevertheless those over forty need to think twice about having children; adoption might be a more prudent choice.
In a belated effort to stem the tide in Colorado City and Hildale, Tarby has recommended that residents undergo genetic screening for FD before getting married but the community has rejected that idea out of hand. "I really doubt that if we could tell them, you know, 'This male has the condition and this female has the condition; you shouldn't mate,' that wouldn't stop them," he told the Deseret News in the February 9, 2006 article cited supra.
From making that bon sens suggestion Tarby went on to outrageously defend the very individuals who knowingly are giving birth to so many mentally retarded children. "In some ways, they are really kind of remarkable people," he cooed to the Deseret News. "They do treat these kids pretty well."
Wyler was quick to wholeheartedly concur. "They would just assume they've been given a test (by their god) and they need to pass the test," he told the Deseret News in the February 9, 2006 article cited supra. "And it's their lot in life to take care of a child like this. And they'll give it everything they've got. And they'll do a good job. Very good job."
Obviously neither Tarby nor Wyler are willing to concede that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Much more to the point, any halfway decent human being strives to give birth to healthy infants that are fully capable of becoming functioning members of society.
If Tarby's and Wyler's defense of the polygamists sounds familiar it is because it is on all fours with the sympathy expressed by Best Friends for Thomas's murderer and the cat and dog abusers in Colorado City and Hildale. In twenty-first century America, the innocent victims of abuse, whether they be animals or humans, are of apparently no consequence.
Others, such as former plural wife Eunice Bateman, have had the scales removed from their eyes and can point to at least two ulterior motives behind the FLDS's fondness for mentally retarded children. Specifically, she argues that FD children are prized for their docile natures and the $500 a month in welfare that they are worth.
"You see these young pregnant mothers rubbing their stomachs saying, 'I hope this one's a Down's'," she told the Los Angeles Times on September 9, 2001. (See "Utah Paying High Price for Polygamy.")
It also is conceivable that mentally retarded young girls are easier for old men to control and to sexually exploit. Even if against all odds they should be cognizant that what is being done to them is morally wrong and illegal they most likely are too incapacitated in order to do anything about it.
To any moderately sane individual it surely must come as quite a shock that this type of widespread, systematic abuse could still be occurring at this late date in history. While it is true that several attempts have been made to eradicate polygamy, none of them have been either very serious or successful.
President Abraham Lincoln was the first individual of note to sell Mormon women and children down the river and he did that by making a deal with Brigham Young not to either enforce or fund the implementation of the Merrill Anti-Bigamy Act. In return he received Young's pledge to stay out of the War Between the States.
The most serious effort occurred on July 26, 1953 when Arizona Governor John Howard Pyle sent troops into Colorado City, then known as Short Creek, in order to arrest two dozen men and to free two-hundred-thirty-six children. Public opinion quickly turned against him, however, and the children soon thereafter were returned to bondage. As for Pyle, the voters drove him from office a year later although he did rebound nicely in order to serve in the administration of President Dwight David Eisenhower.
|Warren Steed Jeffs|
Things turned out much the same way in Eldorado in 2008 in that after all the negative publicity the the FLDS received had died down the women and children quietly were returned to their exploiters and abusers. About the only positive development to come out of the entire affair was the arrest and subsequent jailing of Jeffs for having it off with a fifteen-year-old girl and a twelve-year-old lass. (See The Press of Atlantic City, August 5, 2011, "Polygamist Leader Jeffs Convicted of Child Sexual Assault.")
Besides having money, the FLDS has a powerful ally in the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which defends the practice of polygamy on First Amendment grounds. As far as that totally fraudulent and blowhard organization is concerned, women, children, and society do not count; all that matters are the rights of dirty old men who hide behind a totally bogus religion in order to get their perverted jollies. (See "National ACLU Policy on Plural Marriage" at www.acluutah.org.)
Even Tarby, a man of science, was unable to locate his moral compass when asked about the rectitude of polygamy. "I've given up trying to sort those things out," he confessed to the Deseret News in the February 9, 2006 article cited supra. "I don't think they're going to change much."
As for Allen, he says all the right things but there is not any substance to his rhetoric. "I wonder why we in Utah have allowed these crimes against children to occur. I'm not interested in prosecuting or persecuting adults," he told the Los Angeles Times in the article cited supra. "But the social costs of polygamy are quite high. Things I'm most worried about in polygamy are physical and sexual abuse of children, forced marriages among minors, welfare and tax fraud, and the diminished educational opportunities, especially among girls. None of this is acceptable."
That is pure balderdash! If polygamy and all its attendant evils were not perfectly acceptable to most Americans they would have been stamped out long ago. There are laws in every state against statutory rape and the Mann Act of 1910 makes it a crime to transport women across state lines for immoral purposes. Even more importantly, the District of Columbia and every state in the union with notable exception of Rhode Island either ban outright or severely restrict the practice of incest.
The abuses continue because, first and foremost, the FLDS and other mainstream Mormons have money and power and no one is willing to confront them. Secondly, although it would be simple enough to arrest the men and to put them in jail, that would mean that the burden of caring for their horribly abused spouses and mentally retarded children would fall by default onto society and Americans are totally unwilling to accept that daunting challenge.
After all, this society cannot solve the dilemma simply by exterminating the women and children en masse as it does with cats and dogs. Moreover, it goes almost without saying that any society that is too morally bankrupt in order to safeguard the lives of women and children is not about to ever take the rights of cats, dogs, and other animals seriously.
It would be grossly inaccurate and unfair, however, to maintain that the FLDS is the only religious sect that mistreats and abuses animals, subjugates women, sexually abuses children, and indulges in widespread welfare and tax fraud. Au contraire, all of them commit the same offenses; the difference is only one of degree.
The Roman Catholic Church, for example, made a living off of defaming and slaughtering untold thousands of cats during the Middle Ages. (See Cat Defender posts of May 22, 2006, August 6, 2009, and May 21, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Belgian Ritual of Tossing Stuffed Cats from Belfry Makes Jest of the Hideous Crimes of Capitalists and Catholics," "Unrepentant and Totally Shameless, Ieper Once Again Makes a Mockery of Its Past Crimes Against Cats by Staging Kattenstoet," and "Salem, Massachusetts, Is Going After Cats Again Much Like It Did During 1692 Witch Trials.")
Worst still, the passage of time has not done much in order to slake the Catholics' lust for feline blood. For example, earlier this year St. James and St. Joseph's Parish in Manhattan's Chinatown attempted to eradicate a colony of homeless cats that had called the church's grounds home for years. (See New York Daily News, March 17, 2012, "Catfight over Feral Colony" and CBS New York, April 1, 2012, "Tentative Deal Saves Cat Colony in Chinatown.")
Priests also have been sexually abusing young boys with impunity for two millenniums while their superiors have orchestrated elaborate criminal conspiracies in order to shield them from being exposed, defrocked, and jailed. By contrast, teachers who become sexually involved with underage teenage students are promptly arrested, their names and photographs plastered all over television and newspapers, their licenses to teach revoked, and they are placed on sexual offender registers.
Protestants also feel that they are endowed with a divine dispensation in order to not only abuse cats with impunity but to lie through their teeth about doing so. (See Cat Defender posts of July 30, 2009, May 1, 2010, December 23, 2010, and February 12, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Ferals Living at a Baltimore Church Find Out the Hard Way That Hatred of Cats Is Every Bit as Christian as Unleavened Bread and Cheap Wine," "When It Comes to Cats, Acts of Faith Count for Absolutely Nothing with the Good Christians at Northside Baptist," "Tavia's Desperate Pleas for Help Fall Upon the Deaf Ears of the Evangelical Who Abandoned Her and the Heartless Officials and Citizens of Kissimmee," and "God-Fearing Baptists at Eastern University Kill Off Their Feral Cats on the Sly while Students Are Away on Christmas Break.")
Possessed of souls that are every bit as black and perverse as those of their Christian counterparts, the Jews's record on all of these issues is equally atrocious. Specifically, they systematically abuse, abandon, and kill cats and dogs with impunity and without remorse. (See Cat Defender posts of November 11, 2005, August 10, 2006, and August 9, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Israeli Colonialists in Gaza and the West Bank Leave Behind Thousands of Cats to Die of Thirst, Hunger, and Predation," "Death Toll Mounts for Cats and Other Animals Slaughtered and Left Homeless in Lebanon by Israeli War Criminals," and "Israeli Police Turn a Blind Eye to the Poisoning of Fifty-Three Cats and Dogs in Kiryat Tivon.")
Orthodox Jewish communities also have a big problem with the sexual abuse of both women and children but it is largely keep quiet because public prosecutors like Charles Hynes in Brooklyn have made deals with the leadership of these groups not to publicize these crimes. (See New York Post, April 30, 2012, "Brooklyn DA Plays Sex-Abuse Politics.")
These communities also permit the inbreeding of close relatives such as uncles and nieces and that, at the very least, constricts the available gene pool. Sexual mutilation is another problem that is rampant with all Jews and many Christians and Muslims as well.
In a belated recognition of that problem, a court in Köln recently declared circumcision to be illegal. (See Deutsche-Welle, June 26, 2012, "German Regional Court Outlaws Child Circumcisions.")
Welfare fraud additionally is endemic to many of these insular Hasidic communities. For example, Orthodox Jews in the village of New Square in Ramapo, a city in Westchester County north of Gotham, have stolen billions of dollars in welfare. Yet, four of them had their sentences commuted by President Bill Clinton on January 20, 2001 in return for their support of Hillary Rodham in her 2002 successful bid for the United States Senate.
To their credit, the Jews upheld their end of the bargain by turning out in droves for Rodham. Specifically, she garnered all but ten of the one-thousand-three-hundred-sixty-nine votes cast in New Square. Individuals who thus doggedly maintain that there is not so much as a speck of honor amongst thieves need to rethink this issue.
Like the FLDS in Colorado City and Hildale, the Jews in New Square, Brooklyn, and elsewhere have their own private police forces that engage in violent offenses against both members of the community and outsiders as well. In New Square, these vigilantes even have attacked governmental officials sent there to investigate welfare fraud.
Israel likewise has its fair share of welfare bums and one estimate puts the number of unemployed orthodox males between the ages of thirty-five and fifty-four to be as high as sixty-five per cent. Since the American taxpayers ship billions of dollars in aid to Israel each year, they in all likelihood are picking up part of the tab for these so-called lifelong Talmudic scholars just as they do for Jewish idlers in New Square and elsewhere. (See Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2010, "Israel's Ultra-Orthodox Welfare Kings.")
Some Jews likewise have transformed tax fraud into something akin to an art form. For instance, a stunning one-hundred-ninety-six bogus charities were caught last year using the same Bedford Avenue address in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. Some of them were headed by rabbis already serving time in prison for laundering money and sexually molesting children. (See New York Post, August 1, 2011, "Suite Charity Mystery.")
Despite wallowing head over heels in welfare, neither Christians nor Jews have anything other than contempt to offer those stranded on the social rungs beneath them. This antipathy manifests itself in various forms but perhaps can best be observed in the behavior of those church groups that pretend to be doing the world a favor by handing out peanut butter, jelly, cornflakes, and tomato sauce to the poor.
Despite the hollowness of these crass acts of beau geste, these egomaniacal charlatans can be seen tingling from head to toe with delight, feeling good about themselves, and be overheard praising the munificence of their lord. In reality, however, most of this hog slop is donated by their corporate sponsors who grew and processed it courtesy of billions of dollars worth of handouts from Congress. The poor wisely toss it in the nearest garbage can.
Even Mother Teresa, who lived a life of luxury at least in her later years, was immensely pleased by the abject poverty of the poor. "I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ," she once shamelessly observed. "I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people." (See Michael Parenti, Common Dreams, October 22, 2007, "Mother Teresa, John Paul II, and the Fast-Track Saints.")
It therefore is perhaps not unfair to nominate stinginess, hubris, mendaciousness, and Schadendreude as the high-water marks of Christian piety. That alone would be objectionable enough but the case against them and their Jewish brethren actually is far worse.
Specifically, instead of being seized with anything remotely resembling a social conscience, both groups are apologists for the establishment and staunch defenders of the status quo. "We confront the Roman Catholic Church, other Christian bodies, and the synagogues of America with their silence and cowardice in the face of our country's crimes," Father Phil Berrigan told those gathered at the Catonsville, Maryland, draft card burning rally in 1968. "We are convinced that the religious bureaucracy in this country is racist, is an accomplice in this war (Vietnam), and is hostile to the poor."
Furthermore, the Dominion Doctrine as laid down in Genesis 1:26 continues to serve as a blueprint for Christians and Jews to kill off all the animals and to destroy the earth. "Too many global warming zealots appear to worship the creation instead of the creator and view man and his actions as only suspect disrupters of nature," former presidential candidate Rick Santorum, a Roman Catholic, once declared. (See The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 10, 2012, "In Columns, Santorum Spoke Out.")
The last word on this thoroughly unwholesome topic belongs to, fittingly enough, Friedrich Nietzsche. "Man soll nicht in Kirchen gehn, wenn man reine Luft atmen will," he wisely counseled in Janseits von Gut und Böse. (Aphorismus dreißig.) Perhaps if he were still alive today he would be compelled to extend that admonition to the shuls as well.
In conclusion, Thomas's horrible and distressing murder at the hands of the polygamists last month captured the attention of the online community for a few fleeting days but already it has been completely forgotten. Neither his death nor those of the millions of cats horribly abused and killed each year ever remain etched in the public's consciousness for very long.
The only logical explanation for the public's apathy and intransigence is that it likes things the way they are now. It was not always that way in this country. Once upon a time there existed a widespread, heartfelt belief that this society could be made better for the animals, Mother Earth, and everyone else but, like the halcyon days of youth, it is now gone with the wind.
Photos: Andrew Chatwin (Thomas), QQXXS.com (Chatwin), Deseret News (Wyler), Houston Chronicle (women and children of YFZ Ranch), USA Today (Jeffs), and Project Smart Vote (Allen).