And the mystery 16 year old who started it all? Turns out it was a mentally disturbed woman from Colorado who had a history of pretending to be an underage child phoning the authorities. So the original allegation of abuse was bogus. The mechanism that the state used to terrify this group of parents and children was a total fabrication.
There is obviously a peculiarity about the FLDS group. They have largely isolated themselves from the world, believing in bizarre concepts like men having numerous spiritual wives and following the teachings of the jailed "prophet" Warren Jeffs.
But when the day comes that the government comes breaking down the doors and tries to make children permanent foster or adoptive children because of the peculiar religious beliefs of a particular group, our nation is in big, big trouble.
I've said it many times before, and I'll say it again: if any underage child has been abused or harmed by an adult at the YFZ Ranch, then by all means, arrest them. Heck, arrest anybody! Up to now, the only single person who has been arrested is the troubled Colorado woman who made the phony phone call in the first place. Meanwhile, a man named Dale Barlow, a member of the sect who lives in Arizona, was splashed all over the news media as the "suspect" in the "abuse" of the "16 year old victim."
His status? Authorities recently announced that they have no case against the man, that there will be no charges filed against him.
I hope the state -- and possibly the news media -- is prepared for the lawsuit that this wrongly accused man might be filing in the future. Remember Richard Jewell, who was smeared by authorities who thought he was the Atlanta Olympics bomber?
Everything about this story is rotten. It's the textbook example of a zealous government destroying the United States Constitution in order to grandstand and pretend that they are only interested in protecting the children.
So finally, a bit of sanity arrives by way of the Texas 3rd District Court of Appeals ruling that the state had absolutely no business taking over 460 children from their parents. The three-justice panel said that to use the pretense that future harm may or may not befall these children hardly constitutes a process where all of them were to be abducted from their home and turned into foster children, never to see their birth mothers again.
It's time to try and put the pieces back together again. Enough damage has been done already. The children need to be reunited with their parents. Again, if the state can make the case that any child was abused, it should arrest the suspected perpetrators.
I only hope that this fiasco will be a wake-up call to legislators and citizens about the way an agency like Child Protective Services can spin out of control and ruin people's lives right under our collective noses.
My hunch is that the heavy-handed authorities in this story never imagined that anyone would be concerned about how they treated an odd group of polygamists. But oddballs have rights, too. If we sit around and watch the state abuse these FLDS people, how long before they come after Baptists? Or Catholics?
Already, the state of California has made no secret of its intention to outlaw homeschooling. It's fairly obvious that state-funded and heavily-unionized teachers don't take too kindly to loving parents who choose to educate their children at home. So could the homeschooling community in America become the next group the government goes after?
You bet your life it could.
Recently, someone shared a quote that seemed to perfectly fit what the government has been trying to do to the FLDS community in West Texas. It may very well have been spoken by one of the numerous bureaucrats who have attempted to justify this tale of the state taking all of these children from their mothers and fathers. It was written in 1925 and it said that the government can pull off pretty much anything as long as it's done under the guise of protecting the children.
Astute history students probably recognize the quote.
It was written by Adolph HItler in 'Mein Kampf.'