Sprinkle yourself in fairy dust and say the magic words “I sincerely believe,” and that’s really all you need for the right-minded judge to sympathize with your oh-so-burdensome burden of having to obey the law and then wave his magic gavel and say, “Okay, you are exempt from the laws you don’t like.” David Sam, senior judge of the United States District Court in Utah, is one such judge.
In Perez v. Paragon, he waved his magic gavel for Vergel [or as the judge calls him in the opinion, “Vernon”] Steed, a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If that name sounds vaguely familiar, perhaps polygamist “Prophet” Warren Jeffs rings a bell? He’s the leader of the FLDS cult who thinks god wants him to bang kids. Or at least he was, before he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life — plus 20 years! — in prison for sexually assaulting his 12- and 15-year-old “spiritual wives.”
As ThinkProgress reports, in addition to screwing children literally, the cult is under investigation for violating child labor laws. For Jeebus. Allegedly, but who are we kidding? If these scumbags were okey-dokey with raping children, they probably were even more okey-dokey with using children to pick their pecan trees, and no, that’s not a euphemism. Now the feds are looking into that too, and they’ve issued a subpoena to get some answers, but ol’ Vergel/Vernon, well, he just doesn’t want to cooperate because — surprise! — religious beliefs:
The death of an 8-month-old child whose parents believe in healing by prayer has been ruled a homicide by the Philadelphia medical examiner, according to CBS Philly.
Brandon Schaible, infant son of Herbert and Catherine Schaible, reportedly died on April 18th from dehydration and bacterial pneumonia stemming from a streptococcus infection.
The Schaibles have worked as teachers at their fundamentalist church, the First Century Gospel Church in Philadelphia. They don’t believe in medical help and pray for healing instead, according to CBS Philly.
The station reported the couple was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2009 for the death of their 2-year-old. That child also died of pneumonia and the parents were sentenced to 10 years probation.
Last year at this time, self-described prophet Warren Jeffs was predicting the end of the world. According to eight revelations he issued from a jail cell at the beginning of December 2012, divine vengeance was slated to fall upon a nation “fully ripening in iniquity.” Earthquakes were to rock Arizona, and “melting fire” was supposed to roll out across Idaho.
This year? Jeffs is predicting the same demise, only this time compliments of the geysers at Yellowstone National Park. Once they blow their tops, it’s the end for all humankind.
“By December 23rd, [the world is] going to have ended,” former FLDS member Isaac Wyler, who has seen the revelation, told KUTV in Salt Lake City. Jeffs told his followers to prepare grey or blue backpacks, of a certain size, and pack them with essentials to be ready to go when God calls them, Wyler said.
Jeffs, 56, is the imprisoned head of a sizeable Mormon breakaway polygamous sect called the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS). He became a fugitive in 2005, after he was charged with conspiracy to commit rape for arranging a marriage between an unwilling 14-year-old girl and her 17-year-old cousin, and then pressuring the girl to have sex with the young man. He was arrested more than a year later, and convicted of two rape conspiracy charges, drawing two terms of five years to life in prison.
Then, in a separate trial last year, he was convicted of raping his 12-year-old “spiritual bride,” as well as sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl. Evidence of those attacks turned up in 2008, when Texas authorities raided an FLDS compound in the town of El Dorado, and included a document in which the supposed prophet of God wrote, “If the world knew what I was doing, they would hang me from the highest tree.” He was sentenced to two life terms in that case.
Georgia doesn’t have the best track record on church-state separation, but the state is working to revise its public school science curriculum to make sure students have an understanding of natural selection and evolution.
The curriculum, called “The Next Generation Science Standards,” is being developed on a national level by 25 states and the District of Columbia. The National Academies, which laid the framework for the standards, said its goal is “to ensure that by the end of 12th grade, all students have some appreciation of the beauty and wonder of science, the capacity to discuss and think critically about science-related issues, and the skills to pursue careers in science or engineering if they want to do so — outcomes that existing educational approaches are ill-equipped to achieve.”
That is a sound plan, so naturally a fundamentalist church in Villa Rica (an Atlanta suburb) is upset about it.
“What message are we sending to our children when they come away saying, ‘I’m an ape with less hair’?” asked Villa Rica Church of Christ Pastor Patrick Gray, according to WSBT.
The Atlanta ABC affiliate said Bob Staples, a member of the church, called Darwin’s theory “bad science” and said “it’s bad for the culture.”
“To teach it as a fact,” said Staples, “is lying to people.”
It’s curious that Staples, who is a college math teacher and also a member of the state committee working on the new science standards, is worried about lying to people. He said he believes in a literal view of the Bible, but doesn’t expect public schools to teach creationism.
So what would Staples teach? If evolution is a no go and so is creationism, what does that leave? It sounds like Staples would rather give kids extra recess time than good science classes.
County officials in west central Minnesota are scratching their heads trying to figure out why they’ve been receiving large packets of priority and certified mailings from Warren Jeffs, the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Jeffs is serving a life-sentence in Palestine, Texas, for raping two young girls that he claimed were his “spiritual” wives.
The bundles of letters and booklets began arriving a couple months ago to many county commissioners in the region.
Some of the envelopes contained a two-page document; others had 43-page booklets; one held large bound books that were 149 pages long.
The materials contain proclamations and”revelations that appear to warn government entities around the world of “whirlwind judgments” and certain doom if Jeffs’ message isn’t heeded.
Jeffs, who is president of a group that has been called the “radical” polygamous sect of the Mormon Church, also sends the strong message in the long rambling literature that he should be released from jail.
It’s a message that’s apparently being mailed to elected county officials as well as national and international leaders, according to one of the booklets that warn of a “judgment on all nations.”
So far the Kandiyohi County Commissioners have received approximately seven separate mailings. One of the last mailings weighed almost three pounds.
“Yeah, we’re getting them too,” said Jake Sieg, Lac qui Parle County auditor.
The way that the anti abortion zealots work in Wichita is pure terrorism. Nobody would hesitate to call it such if they read about these actions in South Waziristan, and people should call it what it is when it happens in Wichita, a city in Kansas.
In the past, if her patients with unwanted pregnancies asked where to get an abortion, she sent them to Tiller. After his death, women seeking the procedure increasingly turned to her for advice, often with panicked eyes and voices, asking what to do and where to go.
“I didn’t have an answer,” she said. “I kept thinking one of the OB-GYN doctors would start, but slowly it became apparent no one was going to step up.”
Kansas is a land of great distances. Women who wanted abortions drove hundreds of miles to Kansas City, Tulsa, Denver, even Illinois.
If not her, Means thought, who?
In summer 2010, Means began going each weekend to Kansas City, Kan., to learn first trimester abortion procedure. She approached Jeanne Tiller about buying her late husband’s equipment. It cost $20,000, which cut deeply into her practice’s meager budget. She remembers how creepy it felt to walk through Tiller’s boarded up clinic shadowed by his widow’s bodyguard.
The decision marked a full circle for Means, who grew up in Wichita with parents who supported abortion rights. In her 20s, though, she joined a fundamentalist church with a rigid antiabortion stance. Her own beliefs were more ambivalent.
She once applied as medical director of a pregnancy crisis center that talked women out of abortion but said she did not get the job because she could not agree that abortion was never justified. She now sees that time in her life as a passing phase before her politics drifted left.
As 2010 ended, Means told her office landlord of her plans. Word leaked and protesters materialized quickly. Posters circulated with her picture on one side scrawled with the words “child abuser”; the other side urged protesters to “reach out” to her at her home and office.
A letter arrived from an antiabortion activist who befriended Scott Roeder, the man convicted of killing Tiller, after he went to prison. That letter, now in federal hands, warned Means to check under her yellow Mini Cooper for explosives before turning the key.
“I anticipated the normal protest, but I didn’t anticipate the intensity of those in the movement to keep Wichita abortion-free. They saw Dr. Tiller’s murder as a victory,” Means said.
Roeder has said killing Tiller was justified to protect unborn babies.
Cheryl Sullenger of the antiabortion group Operation Rescue denied finding triumph in Tiller’s death but acknowledged starting the protest against Means. “The people of Wichita don’t want abortion in our community,” she said.
The pressure on Means was unrelenting. Her business manager quit, patients fled. A feminist group offered her a bulletproof vest. Law enforcement officials briefed her staff on how to spot a bomb.
Her landlord slapped her with a nuisance lawsuit, saying the protests disrupted other tenants. When Means tried to find another office, she said, no one would rent to her. She stayed put, settling the lawsuit with a promise not to perform abortions at that location, all the while quietly working toward creating a nonprofit organization so she could buy her own building.
But 150 miles away in the state capital, other forces were gathering.
Texas prison officials have found polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs guilty of “a major disciplinary infraction” following an investigation into whether he violated policy by — among other things — preaching a Christmas day sermon from prison, a state spokeswoman said Monday.
Jeffs’ phone privileges have been suspended for 90 days, added Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman Michelle Lyons.
While refusing to elaborate on the content of the conversations, Lyons said that Jeffs was found guilty of making conference calls on several occasions. “It was obvious to us he was talking to a group of people,” she said.
The leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jeffs is serving a life-plus-20-year term in Texas for sexual assault. He was convicted last August of the aggravated sexual assaults of a 12-year-old girl and a 15-year-old girl that Jeffs claimed were his “spiritual wives.”
The state criminal justice department announced in late December that it had initiated an investigation into allegations that Jeffs used a prison phone to preach to his congregation on Christmas.
Records show that Jeffs made two phone calls on December 25, said Jason Clark, a Criminal Justice Department spokesman.
Cult Leader Warren Jeffs Tells Followers To Throw Away Children’s Toys And Stop Having Sex With Wives
Even though he is serving a life sentence for child rape, cult leader Warren Jeffs is still controlling his followers from behind bars.
The leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has reportedly directed his cult member to continue following his directives in bizarre ways, ordering cult members that men cannot have sex with their wives, that parents must throw away their children’s toys and that teenage girls are not allowed to have cellphones.
Now that he has a whole lot of time on his hands, self-described prophet Warren Jeffs is claiming to be the “mouthpiece” of an angry God. And judging from the sound of things, there’s going to hell to pay for daring to lock up the racist cult leader for raping a 12-year-old “celestial” child bride and other crimes.
In a series of eight biblically themed “revelations,” written between Aug. 18 and Nov. 12, Jeffs predicts widespread catastrophe and divine vengeance for a nation “fully ripening in iniquity.” Earthquakes will rock Arizona, tidal waves will smack Seattle, “melting fire” will roll across Idaho, and devastating storms will wreak havoc everywhere else, the convicted sex criminal predicts.
“I have named many places that shall be cleansed entire, and as you witness this, a memory of my word shall hearken in your souls that thy God reigneth,” Jeffs wrote in one overweening prediction on Sept. 25 from Tennessee Colony, Texas, where he was being held at the time.
And why would all of this damnation suddenly befall the world—especially considering Jeffs is a little late to the party predicting an end of times? From Jeff’s perspective, it’s because of the legal system locked up the Lord’s “mouthpiece.”
“My warning voice has sounded,” Jeffs wrote, speaking in the alleged voice of God and referring to himself in the third person. “My servant is in bondage.”
Jeffs, the leader of a sizeable Mormon breakaway sect called the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), initially became a fugitive in 2005, after he was charged with conspiracy to commit rape for arranging a marriage between an unwilling 14-year-old girl and her 17-year-old cousin, and then pressuring the girl to have sex with the young man. Jeffs was finally arrested more than a year later, and ultimately convicted of two rape conspiracy charges, drawing two terms of five years to life in prison.
Earlier this year, in a separate trial, he also was convicted of raping his own 12-year-old “spiritual bride,” as well as sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl. Evidence of those attacks turned up in 2008, when Texas authorities raided an FLDS compound in the town of El Dorado, and included a document, part of the evidence put before the jury, in which the supposed prophet of God wrote, “If the world knew what I was doing, they would hang me from the highest tree.” He was sentenced to two life terms in that case.
Warren Jeffs is tightening his grip on the polygamist group he leads as “prophet” while he is in prison, demanding people abandon amenities such as toys, pets and recreational vehicles to give more money to their church, possibly to support the sect’s massive ranch in Texas, a sect member said.
Members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the twin border cities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., are being threatened with excommunication, potentially losing their family and property, if they do not follow through.
“Because of the lack of resources in Texas, he is trying to mandate other communities turn in their resources,” said Willie Jessop, an FLDS member who is not loyal to Jeffs.
Jeffs is in a Texas prison serving a sentence of life plus 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting two girls ages 12 and 15.
That fact isn’t known to the vast majority of Jeffs’ followers, Jessop said.
“The greatest part of the cover-up is no access to any outside communication to expose their minds to what they’re sustaining,” Jessop said. “Ninety-eight percent don’t know what he was actually sentenced to prison for doing.”