Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Real Cult Menace (Part Two): "Freedom" Through Submission (Updated)

Consecrating a collectivist child sacrifice:
Hitler Youth and members of the League of German Girls gather for a Jugendfeier, or "youth ceremony" -- a type of National Socialist confirmation service, held at a German church, circa 1934.

"Never make the mistake of asking what is good for you. Only that is good which is gained through honest means and serves the people.... You must be comrades for your entire life, and must respect every citizen who works, or who as a soldier is ready to give his life for Germany, and you must yourself strive to become such a worker or soldier.... If you do not stand together, but become disunited, if you are not loyal, but disloyal, if you do not work and are cowardly, you will fall into terrible chaos and Germany will collapse. God will have no home in Germany any longer."

Instructions to German youth during the Jungendfeier

"Oh, Lord, stretch forth your mighty hand and bless our Fatherland," intoned the Lutheran minister at the beginning of his sermon. Invoking the name of "God our Father, whose idea government ... was in the first place," he urged his congregants to celebrate their "freedom to submit to the authority of [our] government."

All government officials form an unbroken chain of legitimacy that ultimately leads to God, explained the pastor, and are therefore entitled to unconditional support. It is God's will that all Christians be bound by that chain, and He is grieved whenever His people rebel or even criticize their anointed rulers.

Christian parents have a duty to instruct their children in this doctrine of submission -- unconditional obedience to those God has ordained to exercise authority over us. Children are to be taught to "respect" and obey police, municipal officials, governors, and all other political officials. After all, "how will they possibly respect God himself if they haven't learned to respect somebody right in front of them?"

Such instruction in the tenets of
fuhrerprinzip (the Leader Principle) was entirely representative of state-controlled German Protestant churches in the 1930s. Which makes it somewhat remarkable that those words were uttered in a sermon delivered in Milwaukee last March.

Shoving the Prince of Peace aside, putting the Warfare State front and center: Actors pose as American soldiers from various eras during this January 2005 tribute to the military at Porter Memorial Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky.

Pastor Mark Jeske, the author of that sermon, delivered it in a hypnotically bland voice of affected piety that acted as the aural equivalent of a dentist's contact anesthetic. If this hadn't been the case, at least some members of his audience would have displayed irrepressible outrage over comments such as these:

"[T]he authority of a government ... that authority structure is built and designed by God Himself.... Even bad governments carry God's authority.... Even bad governments do God's work by keeping some semblance of order in the streets. Even the government of the Soviet Union under Stalin was doing the work of God. Even China, under Mao Tse-Tung, was doing work for God."

Oddly enough -- or perhaps not so oddly, given the freighted politics of the question -- Jeske omitted mention of the "work for God" carried out by Hitler's National Socialist regime, which while not as prolific at killing as the governments of Stalin and Mao, did refer to its attempts to annihilate Jews and others as a providential task.

Stalin's regime did such "godly" work at maintaining order that it exterminated in excess of 35 million human beings, better than half of the total Soviet body count. Mao's frenzies of mass murder account for most of the estimated 75 million (or more) victims of collectivist slaughter in China.

Pace Pastor Jeske, these incomparably sanguinary regimes were doing "God's work" of maintaining order through official terror and concentrated violence.

This makes perfect sense -- if the "god" in question is Molech.

In Death By Government, his indispensable study of democide (the mass murder of human beings by the governments ruling them), Rudolph Rummel refers to the roughly 170 million victims of 20th century political murder (the figure could be as high as 360 million) as citizens of a spiritual land he calls "Golgotha."

Each of these human beings -- irreplaceable individuals made in the likeness of God, endowed by Him with rights, talents, and creative potential, known and loved by people whose lives were blighted by their loss -- was summarily murdered as a sacrifice to some ruling elite's vision of public "order."

Jeske would have us believe that God would extend His approval, albeit in a qualified fashion, to the work of such regimes: "There is something that God fears even more than bad human government. And that's anarchy and chaos."

Leaving aside, for the nonce, the novel notion that the Almighty "fears" anything, it's worth pointing out that anarchy and chaos are by no means the same thing. First of all, anarchy can co-exist quite well with spontaneous order; secondly, Jeske's formulation would have us believe that order is necessarily a product of coercion, rather than consent. Somehow it's appropriate that someone who envisions a "God" tormented by fears of various kinds would depict murderous, tyrannical human governments as holy.

"[T]here is the common and fundamental justification of government that it exists to protect citizens against the anarchic jungle that would otherwise threaten their lives and property," notes Professor Rummel. "Such archaic or sterile views show no appreciation of democide's existence and all its related horrors and suffering. They are inconsistent with a regime that stands astride society like a gang of thieves ... robbing all, raping some, torturing others for fun, murdering those they don't like, and terrorizing the rest into servile obedience."

The government ruling us doesn't -- yet -- kill as promiscuously as the regimes that led the roster of "mega-murderers" compiled by Rummel. But it otherwise matches Rummel's description of the conduct of such a regime. And Jeske is promoting "servile obedience" to such regimes as a Christian duty.

If Jeske is right, the early Christian martyrs were not only fools, but sinners for resisting decrees issued by Roman rulers:

"The early Christians were starting to get the reputation of being bad citizens. That they're weird, they're a cult. They're not like us. Stay away from them, they're really weird. It's one thing to refuse to offer at a heathen altar. But the Christians were refusing to pay taxes and refusing to serve in the armed forces. They were so publicly bad mouthing the Emperor that they were being perceived as being socially dangerous and God wanted nothing to do with that attitude."

Jeske allows that refusing to perform government-mandated acts of Emperor worship was a"good thing" -- what a relief to know that Jeske, in his wisdom, recognizes the validity of the First Commandment! -- but complains that this principled refusal to commit idolatry "morphed into all kinds of other separatist sort of activities as well."

Note carefully the use of the key expressions "socially dangerous" and "separatist." The latter is an epithet frequently deployed against those who seek to shrug off the tyrant's yoke, as well as principled people who mind their own business and prefer their own company. Criticizing such people for displaying "separatist" tendencies makes roughly as much sense as describing rape-aversive women as "unsociable."

Rebels. Malcontents. Separatists. "Socially Dangerous" Persons!

And Jeske neglects to mention that early Christians got their separatist notions from the Lord they worshiped, and the teachers He gave them.

Jeske's use of the phrase "socially dangerous" is what called the hairs on the back of my neck to stand at attention. This is because the earliest and most common use of that phrase was made by the Soviet regime under Lenin as a prelude to extermination of sub-populations to whom it was applied.

This idea, first deployed against the Don River Cossacks (who were disarmed, herded into concentration camps, and subjected to starvation and even crude biological warfare), was enshrined as Article 58 of the Soviet Constitution, which permitted the summary imprisonment, psychological and physical torture, and even summary murder of anyone deemed "socially dangerous."

It was the concept of "socially dangerous persons" -- the Soviet equivalent of the Bush Regime's concept of "unlawful enemy combatants" -- that served as
"the legal foundation of the [Soviet] terror," notes the panel of historians who published a scholarly study entitled The Black Book of Communism.

This isn't to say, of course, that I think Pastor Jeske is a covert Communist. He seems to be a pretty typical contemporary Protestant pastor, whose approach is rooted more in marketing than ministry and who is more concerned with church growth than doctrinal clarity. I can't see how a doctrinally serious pastor could miss the fact that genuine Christians are of necessity "socially dangerous" people: Preaching and practicing Christian love, and acknowledging the unconditional sovereignty of the Lord Jesus Christ, will always precipitate trouble with the larger world.

Certainly, the "fears" Jeske imputes to God -- that Christians would be seen as weird and socially marginalized -- are the preoccupations of a growth-minded pastor rather than any hang-ups that could be suffered by the Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe.

I suspect that Jeske simply picked up the phrase "socially dangerous," along with trendy ideas regarding the "Doctrine of Submission," as a result of hanging around with people in the community of government-funded "faith-based" organizations. That likely includes at least a few of the clerical Quislings organized into "Clergy Response Teams" that have been prepared to tranquilize troublemakers in their flocks who may not react well if and when undisguised martial law is inflicted upon us.

Blessing the Beast: A Nazi military officer receives a benediction administered by a Bishop from that regime's equivalent of today's "Clergy Response Teams."

As Michael Hampton from the informative and witty website Homeland Stupidity points out, Clergy Response Teams (CRTs) were planted with federal seed money from the "Justice" Department in the mid-1990s, and began to sprout later in the decade. Funding has come through the "Justice" Department's Community Oriented Police Services Value Based Initiative and the Bush Regime's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives.

The product of this process was on display during the post-Katrina military occupation of New Orleans. As "police" -- National Guardsmen freshly returned from patrolling Iraqi cities, Blackwater mercenaries, and militarized law enforcement personnel -- went house-to-house to roust residents and confiscate their firearms, CRTs fanned out to pacify outraged citizens by reciting a statist misapplication of Romans 13: Obey the State in all things, and you'll be blessed.

"The primary thing that we say to anybody [upset over martial law] is, `let's cooperate and get this thing over with and then we'll settle the differences once the crisis is over," explained CRT representative Dr. Durell Tuberville. After all, Tuberville elaborated, Romans 13 dictates that "the government's established by the Lord, you know. And that's what we believe in the Christian faith. That's what's stated in scripture."

For those nominally Christian clergy whose true "god" is the State -- particularly when embodied in the apparatus of military conquest and coercion -- May 1 has become a new High Holy Day, just as that date was sanctified for both Nazis and Communists.

Fifty years ago, President Eisenhower designated May 1 as "Law Day," which was intended to offset the Marxist celebration of Labor Day. Since 1988, the date has also served as an annual National Day of Prayer (which, at the time Harry Truman created the observance in 1952, was originally held on April 17).

In recent years, the National Day of Prayer has degenerated from a day of humble supplication for divine aid and forgiveness into an orgy of militarism. Today's commemoration, for instance, will include military flyovers at various locations, including a Calvary Chapel in Kent, Washington. Marine color guards will be present at events in Bakersfield, California, and Wheeling, West Virginia. Honor guards from other branches of the Armed Forces will appear at events in Wheatfield, New York, and various cities in Arizona.

And in congregations nation-wide, the military will doubtless be depicted as the indispensable priesthood of the divinely anointed government to which we owe unconditional servile obedience.

(My thanks to Doug Newman for bringing Pastor Jeske's repellent homily to my attention, and sending me the link for the video above.)

Obiter dicta

It's been roughly a month since the State of Texas began its attack on the mothers and children of the YFZ ranch near El Dorado. Although the victims have been spared the fate inflicted on the Branch Davidians of Mt. Carmel, this atrocity is, in a very real sense, Waco Revisited.

I'm just curious to know if these guys (the three at the top of that page, and this guy), the self-appointed "leaders" of the "freedom movement," will ever get around to saying something about the mass abduction of American children at gunpoint by the State, or if they're too busy trying to exploit marketable fears of poor brown people, treaties yet to be written, and the supposed threats posed by distant, and largely impotent, governments to condemn the crimes of the Regime ruling us right now.

I'm just asking.

Update: It's nice to know someone's listening....

Although they took pains to bury the FLDS child abduction scandal at the bottom of the story, carefully avoided mentioning that sect in the article synopsis, and let the fearless Andrew Napolitano do most of the talking, the folks mentioned above finally got around to saying something about this outrage ... about a day after I tweaked them for their shameful month-long silence.

I should point out that John Fisher, the author of the piece, is an extremely accomplished writer and academic and a really nice guy (I met him at a youth camp in Wisconsin in August 2005). Dr. Fisher is hardly to blame for the timidity of the people running that outfit.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Real Cult Menace (Part One): "Waco" in Slow Motion

"I hope very much that others who will be tempted to join cults and to become involved with people like David Koresh will be deterred by the horrible scenes they have seen over the last seven weeks....
There is, unfortunately, a rise in this sort of fanaticism all across the world. And we may have to confront it again."

Bill Clinton, speaking -- appropriately enough -- on Hitler's birthday, 1993, as the incinerated Mt. Carmel religious sanctuary still smoldered following the murderous federal assault of April 19.

When armed intruders came to kidnap their children, the members of El Dorado's FLDS community looked instinctively toward their leaders. This was because they deferred to their leaders in all things, both temporal and spiritual.

The residents of YFZ Ranch had been relentlessly indoctrinated in the belief that "obedience is the first law of heaven," and that their duty, when a priesthood leader instructed them to do something, was simply to obey -- and that if the thing required of them was wrong, God would still reward them for their obedience.

Obedience uber alles -- reflexive, unquestioning obedience -- is the most important defining trait of any sect, party, or organization worthy of being called a cult. And yes, the military -- service in which begins with the systematic extirpation of an individual's identity, will, and capacity for independent judgment -- does qualify, at least in some ways, for that description.

The FLDS Church has never been belligerent or militaristic, but it is unambiguously a cult built around institutionalized awe focused on an unaccountable Leader, and unqualified obedience to a leadership caste.

This made things exceptionally easy for those who set out to steal children from FLDS mothers. Rather than confronting hundreds of individuals capable of taking initiative to protect the most precious mortal gifts they'd ever receive, the kidnappers simply ingratiated themselves with the cult's leadership elite, which could -- and did -- order the cult's membership not to resist the attack on their families.

"Everyone was really pleased with how well things went," insisted Tela Mange of the Texas Department of Public Safety following the successful child abduction. "There were no shots fired, no incidents. We credit that to the time the sheriff [Schleicher County Sheriff David Doran] and the Texas Ranger captain spent developing a relationship with the leadership at the ranch."

In an interview with the El Dorado Success newspaper, Sheriff Doran described how that "relationship" with the FLDS leadership operated during the initial stages of the raid.

A representative of the Federal Thug Caste
preens for the cameras atop an armored vehicle following the annihilation of Mt. Carmel's Branch Davidian community in 1993. This time, the children were seized without direct armed violence, which probably meant a long ride home for Da Boyz from Midland.

"[W]e rolled up to the gate just as the perimeter was being sealed around the ranch and the roads leading to the property were being blocked," recalled Doran. "Fairly soon I received a call on my cell phone from Merrill Jessop" -- the Bishop, or Overseer, of the FLDS community at the ranch. Jessop "was out of town, and someone from inside the ranch had called to alert him to our presence. He knew about our perimeter and the fact that we were waiting at the gate.... I told him to get a couple of men with authority to come to the gate. They did, but they still delayed us an hour and a half before they let us in."

The "us" referred to by Doran included several people from the Texas State Department of Child Abduction, who were acting on a hot-line call from a "victim" that they must have known, even then, was a fraud.

"We asked to see the girl who called for help, but they wouldn’t produce her," Doran recalled, omitting mention of the fact that the girl in question doesn't exist -- a fact, once again, that the Texas Rangers (and therefore Doran and the CPS childnappers) must have known. The warrant presented by Doran directed him and his associates "to search anywhere and everywhere in order to find the girl and put her in touch with CPS."

Then a superseding warrant was issued "expanding the search to include looking for evidence of other crimes." The basis of that second warrant, Doran admits, was the supposed fact that once he and other law enforcement agents gained access to the property under false pretenses, they
"witnessed evidence of other crimes." We have subsequently been told that the "evidence" consists of the community itself and its religious teachings, which dictate that girls look upon marriage and child-bearing as the highest calling of their existence.

Doran admits that the operation to seize the FLDS children -- which included the use of military equipment from the distant Midland County Sheriff's Department -- had been planned, in detail, well in advance of the bogus call from "Sarah." The key to the entire operation, however, was the cooperation of FLDS leaders in ordering their followers not to resist:

"At one point, when it appeared we were going to have some trouble, I called Merrill Jessop from my cell phone. I put him on speaker phone and he told the women to cooperate. He said it several times.... The women’s mood changed immediately and they handed over the children." (Emphasis added.)

There is no stronger human impulse than the instinct to protect one's children. In a well-balanced personality, this instinct is stronger than any other physical need or appetite, including the reproductive urge itself.

Yet these women immediately surrendered physical custody over their children to hostile strangers -- many of them armed and prepared to do lethal violence -- because their priesthood leaders told them to.

Herein lies one real, and growing danger, of cults and cult-like organizations: They cultivate in their adherents an unhealthy deference to people in positions of supposed authority, and that cultivated submissiveness is transferable.

There is something akin to unintended hilarity in the assumption, prominently stated in the "Cultural Competency" tip sheet about the FLDS that was distributed to CPS workers, that one symptom of the sect's cult mindset is a deep distrust of government. While the FLDS do believe that they possess an exclusive franchise on religious truth, and are expansively distrustful of most other people, their attitude toward government was one of unhealthy trust and dependence.

This was a community that faithfully paid extravagant property taxes on the YFZ ranch, including the temple -- taxes that helped pay the County Sheriff who would later conspire to steal their children.

It was FLDS leaders who contacted local officials to describe the curriculum being used in the community's private, home-based schooling program. By doing so the FLDS leadership actually went beyond what Texas education law required.

And it bears repeating that the FLDS church was wired in to both the welfare state and the warfare state.

In anticipation of the raid, many accounts retailed the familiar rhetorical trope claiming that the FLDS had a "stockpile" of weapons cached in is "compound" (a "compound" is any dwelling, no matter how flimsy -- it could be a Quonset hut, a wikiup, or a tarpaper shack -- that is under attack by armed agents of the State). Rumors put into circulation by unnamed "officials" described how the FLDS property had a warren of underground tunnels, huge stores of weaponry, and deadly booby traps.

None of this was true, of course. And given what happened to this community once it was helpless in the face of state aggression, it's a species of shame that the FLDS didn't make preparations of some kind to repel the child-nappers.

After all, isn't the practice of stockpiling arms the only attractive trait of the typical apocalyptic cult?

I'm kidding, but only sort of.

It's obvious that a heavily armed cult possessed of a deluded sense of mission would be a public menace. Indeed, we are ruled by just such people.

The real danger I see from smaller, private (or quasi-private) cults like the FLDS is not that their rulers will abet armed insurrection, but rather that they will instill a sense of submissiveness that smooths the way for State crimes against those unfortunate enough to belong to cults.

Sheriff Doran explains that the Waco episode "played a huge role" in the planning and execution of the YFZ raid "in the sense that everyone I know in Texas law enforcement is determined to make sure something like that never happens again. That’s why I prefer talking. There’s always more time to talk and the longer you talk the greater the chance you can work things out. It’s when you stop talking that things can go wrong."

But something did go wrong: More than 400 children were stolen from their mothers by a corrupt government that acted in violation of every principle of due process. What Doran means, of course, is that this crime was accomplished without overt violence. Nobody was killed, so nothing went "wrong."

I'm irresistibly reminded of something Cicero said in one of his Philippics against Marcus Antonius: "This is what a favor from gangsters amounts to: He refrains from murdering someone, then he expects praise for displaying compassion in sparing his victim's life!"

El Dorado is Waco Revisited. This time the children weren't gassed and burned to death, or gunned down when they tried to flee the flames. Instead, this time they were simply stolen with little pretense of legality, because the leaders of this cult effectively ordered the members to surrender them without a fight. And therein resides the real cult menace.

Ah, but you say this only applies to isolated, eccentric communities like renegade offshoots of the Adventist and Mormon denominations? Those who believe this are completely -- and perhaps tragically -- wrong, as the next installment will demonstrate....

Obiter dicta

Please forgive my atypically long absence from this space. I just returned from a trip to Los Angeles, where I spoke at the Spring Convention of the United Republicans of California (an assembly of Ron Paul-aligned Republicans), and was an invited guest speaker at a local Bible Missionary Church.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Subject "People" vs. The Ruling "Persons" (Second Update, April 23)

"An act like that can't be ignored," insisted Palm Beach County Sheriff's Deputy Paul Miller by way of explaining the gang assault, battery, and arrest of 74-year-old Holocaust survivor Elena Reichman at the Palm Beach International Airport. "A Deputy is responsible to take action when she is assaulted and battered by anyone, and [Deputy Margaret Piscerno] took the appropriate action."

To what "act" did Deputy Miller refer?

According to Piscerno's account, the elderly Reichman, who spent four years in a Nazi labor camp as a young girl, "pushed" her during an intimate security screening. Reichman, who was attempting to visit her children in New York for Passover, set off a metal detector and was singled out for special screening. When the TSA's designated groper announced her intention to "wand" the grandmother, Reichman became agitated, and started "screaming."

Piscerno insisted that Reichman "lower her voice."

Indeed: We can't have a Holocaust survivor's voice wake up the torpid sheep about our nation's accelerating descent into unalloyed totalitarianism.

Reichman explained that she had a wad of cash safety-pinned to the inside of her pants, and that complying with an order to take out the pin would mean "I would have to take my pants halfway off to take out the pins." At some point she grew weary of Piscerno's ministrations and -- according to the arrest report -- "shoved" the deputy.

Bear in mind, we're talking about a 5'1", 74-year-old woman with a heart condition and diabetes who has visible difficulty walking.

It's quite likely that Reichman, who has a more acute sense of encroaching tyranny -- and a lower threshold of outrage when dealing with personal indignities -- than most TV-anesthetized Americans, reacted reflexively to an invasive search of her person.

In a free society, acting on that impulse is understood as an appropriate assertion of individual autonomy. Where we live now, it's called "felony battery on a law enforcement officer."

This is the third instance of which I'm aware involving an elderly woman being arrested in airports and charged with various supposed offenses for resisting invasive searches.

About four years ago, Phyllis Dintenfass of Appleton, Wisconsin was charged with assault on a federal officer following an incident in the nearby Outagamie Regional Airport. Dintenfass, a grandmother who was 62 at the time, was selected for "secondary screening," which meant that she was taken behind a curtain and given a thorough palpation by a female TSA official named Anita Gostisha. This involved the TSA official using the back of her hands to check the area beneath Dintenfass's breasts -- which prompted the outraged passenger to exclaim, "How would you like it if I did this to you?"

When the TSA agent fondled Dintenfass, it was called a "security screening"; when Dintenfass reciprocated the gesture, it was called "felonious assault." She was eventually convicted of that offense by a federal jury and given one year of probation and 100 hours of community service.

Federal prosecutor Tim Funnell complained that by mimicking the actions of the TSA tax-feeder, Mrs. Dintenfass "punished Anita Gostisha for doing her job." U.S. Attorney Steven Bispukic added that TSA officers are "entitled to protection from assault."

What this means, of course, is that the familiar grope-and-frisk-and-wand routine to which most air travelers dutifully submit is a form of "punishment" and "assault." Unless, of course, we are to believe that those wearing Regime-distributed costumes are sanctified personages whose bodies cannot be defiled by contact with mundanes like thee and me.

Oh, now I get it: That's the real reason the TSA chair-moisteners wear those rubber gloves!

About two years ago, Janet Gregory (69 at the time) was flying from Cleveland to Florida to visit grandchildren. During the first leg of her trip she took out a bottle of nail polish -- a (voice of chastened reverence for the State's arbitrary edicts) forbidden item -- and began decorating her nails. She ignored a flight attendants demand to surrender the nail polish.

Somehow, despite this act of terrorist-supporting rebellion, the plane landed safely, and after she left the plane Mrs. Gregory was quickly surrounded by a thugswarm.

As she was dragged away kicking and screaming, Janet made unpleasant -- and perhaps unintended -- contact with one of her abductors. Which meant, of course, that she was charged with assault (in addition to "communicating threats" and the all-purpose tack-on charge of "resisting arrest").

When a grandmother is molested at a checkpoint, it's standard procedure -- but woe betide the grandmother who dares put up what meager and half-hearted resistance she can. Turning traumatized geriatric women into "violent felons" displays one facet of the perverse genius of the Homeland Security State.

You see, from the Leviathan's point of view, only those employed to make or enforce policy are really persons; the rest of us are people.

If this distinction is difficult to understand, then consider the wisdom shared in (of all things) the 1960 Jerry Lewis film Cinderfella. Early in the story, Lewis's character receives a visit from his Fairy Godfather (look, that's what he was called in the movie), played by the always delightful Ed Wynn. Cinderfella makes a remark to the effect that he's always tried to be nice to "people and persons." Asked to elaborate, Lewis's character explains that only a chosen few are sufficiently important to be considered individual persons; the rest of us are people.

We're constantly told that in our Grand and Glorious Democracy, the people rule. The truth is that the people are an undifferentiated mass of subjects; it is the persons who bear rule. We The People are not the actors, but the acted upon. When one of us acts on the idea that he or she is a person, that renegade can expect swift and severe chastisement of some kind.

In fact, the Homeland Security Apparatus is now prepared to act on the claim that our very genetic material is the collective property of society, requiring us to surrender DNA samples whenever a pretext can be found. (This opens up all kinds of possible mischief, beginning with the claim, recently upheld in New York, that genetic evidence is sufficient grounds for a criminal indictment.) The same is true of other individual biometric signifiers, such as fingerprints. Commissar for Homeland Security Mikhail Chernoff -- who received his post at Homeland Security after helping to build the Regime's torture apparatus -- insists that fingerprints are not "personal data," and thus can be collected by the Regime and shared with other national security systems as our rulers see fit.

And this brings us, once again, to the ongoing atrocity being committed by the Texas state government against the mothers and children of the FLDS sect.

Is it the Redneck Militia?
No -- It's the Midland County Sheriff's Department SWAT team, who -- from the looks of the carbohydrate sculpture in the right-hand corner (Chris Farley Lives!) -- found an outfitter who stocks XXXXXXL-size BDU pants. Da Boyz were just chillin' and posin' a little after the raid on the YFZ Ranch in El Dorado, Texas.

The 437 kidnapped children, and more than 100 detained mothers, are being compelled to undergo DNA testing -- despite the fact that not a single one of them has been accused of a crime. Barbara Walther, the same judge who authorized that outrage, ruled yesterday that FLDS mothers of nursing children would not be permitted to breastfeed their infants.

After all, sniffed the judge with the refined disdain persons so often display when dealing with mere people,
"every day in this country, we have mothers who go back to work after six weeks of maternity leave."

That the mothers mentioned in that example were not compelled to abandon their six-week-old children, but rather chose for some reason to do so, matters not at all. It's good enough for some of the people, so why should the FLDS women assume they're special enough to care for their own children, rather than entrusting them to hired strangers?

Lavishing such individualized attention on a youngster is unhealthy, after all. If he's fed, raised, educated, and
cared for by his own parents, he won't be properly socialized; that is to say, he won't be taught to think of himself as part of the people. Why, a child in such circumstances tends to think of himself as a person without being given permission to do so.

It was attitudes of that sort that inspired the militant grannies mentioned above to attack our heroic Homeland Security personnel. Good heavens, were this type of attitude to go viral, the result would be an epidemic of militancy! No public servant would ever be safe!

May God hasten that day.


Deseret News photo

in a scene of unfathomable cruelty, about 100 FLDS children were loaded on to buses with tinted windows and taken from their temporary prison. Many of them were seen "jumping excitedly in their seats and waving to the people outside," most likely because they believed they were headed home.

In fact, the kidnappers of those children were beginning the process of redistributing the captives to foster homes scattered across Texas.

Imagine, for a second, the clinical indifference to the suffering of children that one must display in order to do such a thing to innocent children kept ignorant of their fate. And then ask yourself
how, in the name of anything anybody considers holy, can any rational human being -- any intelligent person -- look upon the government ruling us as anything other than our implacably evil enemy.

Deseret News photo

Ah, but such an attitude is a symptom of cult-like tendencies. We "know" this because, as the Salt Lake Tribune reports this morning, a "Cultural Competencies" tip sheet prepared for Texas officials working with the stolen FLDS children warned that members of that sect would be (in the Tribune's paraphrase) "fearful, self-destructive and distrustful of government."

Bear in mind that we're talking about a government that -- without a legally defensible rationale -- had dispatched a heavily-armed party of raiders to surround their property and abduct their children.

Why on earth would anybody be "distrustful" toward people who would seize his children at gunpoint?

Oh, but I see I've got the categories wrong: It was the officially recognized persons who committed those acts, so the people belonging to the FLDS church had no right to complain, and were obligated to display child-like trust and canine submissiveness.

Second Update: The Feds Smell An Opportunity....

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Mormon who almost certainly has polygamous ancestors, has renewed his request of the Attorney General to launch a federal campaign against Mormon fundamentalists (and, most like, Christian and Muslim splinter sects that practice polygyny).

"The recent raid of one polygamist compound in Texas uncovered many of the problems," stated Reid's letter. "But Texas may be the tip of the iceberg. The existence of such communities elsewhere in the United States is well known."

What has been "uncovered" in Texas is the utter cynicism and corruption of that state's government. As of yet no evidence of any kind of abuse has been presented. The "victim" has been exposed as a deranged fraud artist, the purported suspect was interviewed at the side of the road by the Texas Rangers and dismissed without ever being taken into custody.

If the situation at El Dorado is to be taken as representative, the problem cited by Reid would appear to be all tip and no iceberg. Of course, the FLDS -- who have distinguished themselves for their docility -- are not the only Mormon splinter group around.

"Federal assistance is vital," simpered Reid in his personal note to Michael Mukasey, since local governments in some communities are reportedly dominated by polygamists. (This is certainly true of Hildale/Colorado City, and this is a result of the active connivance of two state governments and the Feds in subsidizing the FLDS-ruled city-state.)

Reid is exactly the kind of soul-dead power junkie who is willing to sacrifice any number of people -- including his own people -- in order to distinguish himself among the ruling "persons."

On sale now!

Dum spiro, pugno!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Quid Spucatum Tauri Est? (Second Update, April 22)

This is the new "normal": A teenage skateboarder maneuvers through a pack of paramilitary thugs practicing urban warfare tactics.

In the Texas government's war against the women and children of the FLDS Church, Colorado Springs resident Rozita Swinton, a 33-year-old woman (a precinct delegate for the El Paso County Democratic Party who intends to vote for Barack Obama at the state convention in May), is "Curveball." That was the code-name of a veteran con artist whose patently false intelligence provided the pretext for a the Iraq invasion. In this case, "Curveball" was "Sarah," the purported 16-year-old FLDS polygamist wife who called a domestic abuse hotline and set in motion the invasion of the sect's YFZ Ranch commune in El Dorado.

And once the government that carried out the assault had what it needed -- first, access to the children, and then physical possession of the same -- it blithely disavowed any need to obey the law and demonstrated its disinclination to "re-litigate" the issue. Oh, yes, the initial raid was based on an affidavit containing third-party hearsay from a bogus source, but that is of little moment in post-Constitutional Amerika.

It doesn't really matter how or why the original raid took place, y'see. What really matters now is that the effort succeed. Now that the FLDS Children are in state custody, everybody simply has to support the government's efforts to see that they receive the care they need. After all, our protectors would have taken such a drastic step as the seizure of all 416 children unless it had been absolutely necessary. What else could be done when a 16-year-old "plural wife" is being beaten and abused...

Oh, yeah. That's right -- there was no 16-year-old "Sarah."

But-- who cares?. Taking the kids was the right thing to do anyway, under the principle of preemptive warfare. Since this kind of abuse may have happened, or may happen someday, we might as well yank the kids out today. Some might not approve of the way this was done, but everybody must agree that the FLDS kids are better off now than they were living in their insular little cult.

Such are the blessings of living under a quasi-totalitarian Regime presided over by benevolent and far-seeing rulers such as ours: Their intentions are invariably pure, and their prescriptions inevitably work out for the best. We simply must have faith that the humanitarian violence the Regime inflicted on the FLDS in El Dorado will be just as successful as the even larger exercise in applied compassion that we call the Iraq War.

From the available photographic evidence, the FLDS children are healthy, active, and untouched by the modern plague of childhood obesity. They were schooled at home and spent most of each day involved in vigorous physical labor and energetic recreation. Their diet was barren of processed foods and consisted of such fare as home-grown vegetables and bread made from freshly ground wheat.

"That's no way for a woman to dress here in Texas!" For appropriate couture, see the photo below.

Now, like the Branch Davidian children "rescued" before them (prior to the immolation of nearly that entire sect by the FBI), the FLDS children are free to enjoy the benefits of our homogenized corporatist society. They'll be wired in to the society of unlimited sensate distraction -- television, video games, My Space, and so on.

They'll be fed a proper diet of pre-packaged food products and sugar-suffused beverages. They'll not be required to work in gardens, build fences, or otherwise apply themselves in such exploitative labor that would have left them with well-developed muscles and an equally developed work ethic. Now they can be harmonized down to the norm of our sedentary, passive consumer collective. In short order they can be assimilated by the government school system, where they will be purged of retrograde ideas and refractory attitudes and prepared for proper service to the State.

Rather than being groomed to be predatory polygamists, the FLDS boys can now be preyed upon by military flesh-peddlers desperate to fill the ranks of the Empire's armies of conquest and occupation. Why, I'll bet that as arrangements are made to distribute the FLDS children around the country, recruiters are preparing to descend on them wherever they land.

Think of the opportunities those children would have missed, confined as they were to a remote faith community and insulated from the effects of our degenerate imperial culture! In a few years, instead of assuming the responsibilities of raising and providing for families of their own (within the admittedly aberrant teachings of their sect), the FLDS boys will be given the opportunity to exterminate Muslim families very much like their own in Iraq, Iran, and wherever else the almighty State choses to send them.

No longer will the prospect of polygamy becloud the future for the FLDS girls. Thanks to the benevolent coercion exercised by the State of Texas, those girls will be free to emulate the Lone Star State's racoon-eyed exemplars of modern Christian womanhood -- the Simpson sisters, Jessica and Ashlee.

Oh, sure: Jessica's determination to market herself to the one-handed reader set destroyed her marriage and has left her a kind of Ronin among pop culture courtesans. And Ashlee, an alleged singer whose talents run more toward pantomime, recently announced that she is enceinte without benefit of marriage vows.

What really matters here is that the Simpson sisters aren't polygamous "wives" in some rustic fundamentalist cult. They're the sterling offspring of a former Baptist minister. Oh, I grant that Joe Simpson has displayed a certain skeevy interest in his eldest daughter's mammalial allotment (or "suckers," as he so inelegantly referred to them) -- but he's just, ah, pumping up his most profitable assets.

Down Texas way, fine upstandin' Christian-folk know that it's nothing more than cynical flesh-peddling to raise a daughter to be the second, third, or seventh "wife" of a Mormon polygamist. That's no way to do it -- there's no money to be made. No, the right way to do it is to get them a record deal and a reality show and parade them -- for money -- in various stages of undress in front of concupiscent strangers, the way Joe Simpson did.

The FLDS children living at YFZ Ranch had been denied the blessings of our degenerate late-imperial culture. Blessed be the Regime, and all of its appendages, for rescuing those children from such cruel social isolation!

Update: Unfathomable Cruelty

The Texas Department of Child Abduction, sometimes wittily referred to as the Department of Protective and Family Services, has announced that as soon as it has extracted DNA samples from the FLDS child captives they will be placed in foster care. In many instances this will require tearing newborn or nursing infants out of the arms of their mothers:

"Some FLDS mothers with nursing babies and toddlers may be unaware that they will be forced to leave their children behind once Texas officials gather the DNA samples from them. `I don't know how many mothers have babies, but I would say there are dozens of mothers who are nursing little ones,' said Monica Jessop, whose five children between the ages of 3 and 11 are in state custody. `I'm sure they don't know they will be separated.'"

As with every other act of government coercion, this unspeakably cruel crime will be accompanied by the threat of lethal violence.

"Oh, but surely the kind people carrying out this directive would never threaten, injure, or kill an unarmed mother!" some would complain.

Such people are wrong, of course, since this has already happened.

The above-quoted Mrs. Jessop has described an attempt she made yesterday with a group of mothers to visit their children, who are being held prisoner at the San Angelo Coliseum. They were -- to use a phrase made offensive by its dishonest delicacy -- "turned away by law enforcement." Which is to say that they were threatened with lethal violence by the State's rented thugs: "They told us if we went on that property again we would be arrested."

To get a sense of the pure, unalloyed evil being wrought by "law enforcement" in this matter, we turn to the indispensable blog published by Brooke Adams of the Salt Lake Tribune. Scroll down to the April 15 entry "The Women Speak," and you'll get the context of the scene depicted in the photo found to the left.

"We watched as this woman was greeted by younger women, all hugging her, obviously going to her for comfort, crying," writes Adams. "From afar, we had no idea who they were or what they were doing or what the emotions playing out were."

The name of the woman being embraced is Janet.

"She has five children in state custody, three girls and two boys. The girls are ages 9, 13 and 16. The boys are 11 and 15. This is what she said about that moment: "I was in the shelter and had girls in the other one. They told me my two girls were running for me and I went across to hug them. Instantly I had eight police men around me. I was just hugging them."

These women and children have neither been accused of a crime, nor convicted of one. Yet they are being treated like inmates in one of the nouveau gulags called Supermax Prisons.

It occurs to me that this is the kind of situation in which a writ of habeas corpus would be appropriate... if, that is, the habeas corpus guarantee still existed in this once-free country.

Second Update: When Prayer Is Ruled Impermissible

There are ironic benefits to be enjoyed whenever the Regime displays its genuine nature. In the case of the abduction of the 437 FLDS children (not 416, as previously reported; the diligent child-nappers didn't originally provide an accurate count), we see the edifying spectacle of a judge ruling that unsupervised prayer is impermissible:

"Child protective services workers denied that they were eavesdropping on the FLDS women involved [in twice-daily prayer sessions with their captive children], but attorneys for Texas child protective services expressed concerns about improper communications between mothers and children that could occur in private prayer times, which could affect pending investigations."

Given that none of these captives has been charged with a crime, the state has no right or authority to hold them, much less to regulate or ration their communications in any way. But as noted above, spontaneous expressions of maternal love immediate attract the malign attention of, and provoke threats of violence from, "law enforcement" operatives. It's not difficult to imagine how the official eavesdroppers would react to imprecatory prayers.

Judge Walther, seeking to devise a compromise, asked if local LDS officials could be deputized as prayer monitors. This prompted from Charles L. Webb, president of the local LDS stake (an administrative unit akin to a diocese), a rendition of the LDS leadership's refrain: We have nothing to do with those people: "They think we're the same ones because we use the Book of Mormon. I'm dumbfounded they would suggest that."

Oh, for the love of Nephi, Charles, man up and do some version of the right thing. Stop acting like a corporate shill. If you don't have the requisite anatomy to condemn what has been done to the FLDS mothers and children, then at least do something to mitigate the circumstances of those innocent people, instead of dutifully waiting for permission from PR-obsessed people in Salt Lake City.

Yesterday I suggested that somebody file a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of the abductees and detained mothers. Apparently, Judge Walther has received received thirty-five habeas corpus filings. If attorneys for the victims press this issue, I expect that child "protection" officials will eventually argue that the Great Writ is officially a dead letter in this country as of October 2006. Child-snatchers have never been impeded by any due process considerations, of course, but it would be somewhat useful to have Texas state officials admit, on the record, that the fundamental Anglo-Saxon due process guarantee has been abolished.

On sale now!

Dum spiro, pugno!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Collectivist Child Abuse (Fourth Update, 4/18)

Support your local child-snatchers:
Combat-ready paramilitaries from the Midland County Sheriff's Department chill next to their LESO-provided APC during the raid on the YFZ Ranch.


Judge Walther has ruled -- and wasn't the suspense terrific? -- that the 416 abducted FLDS children will remain in "temporary" state custody.

This, despite the fact (as explained below), that the abuse report that provided the pretext for the raid was contrived. This, despite the admission, under oath, of Bruce Perry of the ChildTrauma Academy -- an "expert" witness on behalf of the state -- that the foster care system "would be destructive to these kids."

As what follows will illustrate, Perry isn't exaggerating one whit.

So ... the warrant was based on a lie, the raid was therefore illegal, the children face the prospect of certain harm within the state foster care system -- and Judge Walther is OK with this.

This underscores one of the reasons why it's a bad idea to let women be judges: You can't take a female judge out for a good horsewhipping when one is warranted.

(See the previous updates at the bottom of the essay)

The children suffer behind an iron curtain of corrupt secrecy. That curtain was lifted a few years ago, long enough to get a brief but terrifying glimpse of what was being done by people who had placed themselves beyond accountability.

Scores of children were killed, poisoned, beaten, and otherwise abused each year. Child rape was terrifyingly common: The largest group of victims were between 12 and 15 years of age, but thirteen percent of the victims were three years old or younger.

An official investigation of this secretive system was undertaken, but soon foundered over obstructions thrown up by those who had the most to lose if the full truth were revealed. But before the portcullis was slammed shut, the investigator learned that a child being raised in that system was four times more likely to die of criminal violence than a child in the general population.

The obvious course of action would be to mount an armed raid to liberate those children, but whatever necessary means, from the abusive system in which they're being held.

Unfortunately, the entity that would carry out such an operation also presides over the systematic abuse. The findings described above are from an abortive investigation of the Texas Foster Care System conducted by Carole Keeton Strayhorn on behalf of the state Comptroller's office.

"In April 2004 I said I would give our forgotten children in foster care something they need -- a voice," recalls Strayhorn. "I have been and will continue to be their voice. This Governor's Health and Human Services Commission continues to stonewall my investigation and this governor continues to hide the truth.

Missing Christian:
Ray and Jessica Nieto and their son Logan remember Christian, Logan's older brother, who was taken into the Texas foster care system and shuttled between five different families over the course of a few months -- before dying, in foster care, from head injuries at 16 months of age.

The data describing the various forms of abuse inflicted on foster children were compiled from information provided in 2004 by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services -- the same agency that abducted 416 children belonging to the Fundamentalist Latter-day Saints (FLDS) Church.

The pretext for seizing the FLDS children was an alleged report of sexual abuse from "Sarah," a 16-year-old "plural wife" in that community. That purported victim was supposedly impregnated at age 15; this meant, quite conveniently, that the procreative act violated a law passed by the state legislature specifically to criminalize the marriage practices of the FLDS community.

"Sarah" has not been found. I'm quite confident her supposed rescuers are displaying the same diligence in trying to find her that George W. Bush has manifest in hunting down Osama bin Laden.

That comparison isn't fair, of course: Bin Laden does, or at least did, exist. "Sarah" almost certainly does not. And the various spokespeople for the state of Texas who are responsible for massaging public perceptions of the atrocity at YFZ Ranch, have made it clear that it doesn't matter whether or not "Sarah" is found.

They've done what they intended: They've stolen the children, and they're not going to give them back unless they're literally forced to do so.

"I think some people have really focused on that [Sarah] but the reality is that her phone call is the reason we went out there, but it was not the reason for the removals," claimed DFPS shill Greg Cunningham. "The removals happened based on what we saw out there."

What, pray tell, did they see "out there"? We won't find out until a court-appointed "Special Master" has had a chance to review -- or, if necessary, contrive -- the "evidence."

Here's what the public has seen:

We witnessed a military assault, with armor provided by the Department of Homeland Security, against a peaceful, unresisting religious community.

We have seen happy, healthy, well-adjusted children who have been separated at gunpoint from loving mothers.

We have seen and heard women who have experienced the single worst thing that can happen to a parent -- the loss of a child or children -- present themselves with dignity and reserve in the face of arrogant aggression by a corrupt state bureaucracy (as if any other kind existed).

What we have not seen is any evidence that children were being abused in the FLDS community.

But there is ample evidence of systematic abuse of the most heinous kind in the foster care system into which the child-snatchers seek to place the FLDS children.

Front-person for a collectivist criminal syndicate:
Marleigh Meisner, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Family and Child "Protective" Services.

In 2004, noted Strayhorn, 38 foster children were killed; 48 were killed the following year. In addition, "about 100 children received treatment for poisoning from medications; 63 foster children received medical treatment for rape that occurred while in the foster care system; and 142 children gave birth while in the state foster care system."

"As alarming as these cases are," she continues, "we can only imagine how much worse the Fiscal 2005 data is because Gov. [Rick] Perry's Health and Human Services Commission has refused to provide the data needed to complete my investigation."

During 2004, "four-year-old twins living in the same foster home received medical treatment in the hospital for rape," recalled Strayhorn. "A five year old boy in the same foster home received medical treatment in the hospital for rape two days later. A 15-year-old girl who was not pregnant when she entered our state's foster care system in 2002 gave birth in February 2004....[A] 12-year-old boy died in December 2005, while in our state's care, at a facility that treats children with learning disabilities and emotional problems. The boy suffocated while being restrained from behind by an employee of the facility."

"The crisis is minute-by-minute and child-by-child," concluded Strayhorn. "I renew my call [to Gov. Perry]. He must act now to save children's lives."

Perry, or at least the government over which he presides, did eventually act to "save" children -- by conducting a potentially lethal military raid against a community where they weren't being abused, for the purpose of delivering them into a government-run system in which children are routinely killed, molested, and poisoned.

As an ABC News analysis points out, the DFPS legal strategy is to treat the people living in the YFZ enclave as a single household. In this fashion, under what the Texas government is pleased to call the "law," finding a single case of abuse within the community would be enough to justify keeping all of the children in permanent state custody.

Which means, of course, that they would become the property of a single collectivist "household." We could envision it as sort of a polygamous union between various foster homes and the state government, in its role as Parens Patriae. And in that collectivist household, abuse is widespread, frequently lethal, and protected by "law."

As legal proceedings in the FLDS custody battle began today (in -- as the bitter ironies continue to accumulate -- the Tom Green Courthouse), the presiding judge, Barbara L. Walther, was praised by all and sundry as the very soul of equity.

Judge Walther will give the FLDS "a fair shake," insisted attorney William Moore of San Angelo, where the case is being heard. Fellow attorney Guy Choate praised Walther for her command of details. And Robert Post, whom Walther defeated in the 1992 election in which she won her seat, insisted that the judge won't be a "rubber stamp" for the state bureaucracy, but rather will "make them prove it up."

Judge Walther may be the embodiment of competence; she may be the essence of good intentions made flesh. But either through professional blindness or something more sinister she failed her first, and perhaps most important, test today:

She did not issue an order to the DFPS commanding them to produce "Sarah," with an inflexible and immediate deadline to do so.

Walther is the judge who issued an extravagantly overbroad warrant on the basis of "Sarah's" alleged report. Today she admitted into evidence documents seized in that raid without confirming that there was a legal basis for the warrant.

This time they didn't burn down the sanctuary: It must have been a long, disappointing ride home for the raiders....

By relieving the DFPS of the responsibility to produce the alleged witness that was the basis of that report, Walther has graduated from commonplace offenses against the Constitution to participation in a criminal conspiracy -- assuming, as I think by now we should, that "Sarah" doesn't exist.

The criminal conspiracy in this case involves the attempted -- or, better put, not entirely consummated -- theft of children by a state bureaucracy with a financial interest in enlarging the ranks of its foster care system, however miserable or dangerous that system is to its enrollees.

A quick postscript....

Obviously, the FLDS child abduction scandal is an incredibly important on-going story. At the risk of trying the patience of those who don't find it as compelling as I do, it's my intention to devote a lot of coverage to it, while doing my best not to become monomaniacal.

UPDATE, April 18

It now turns out that Swinton was arrested on Wednesday night --
before the hearing began in Texas -- and that she called a defector from the FLDS Church with her claim to be 16-year-old "Sarah."

She doesn't look like a Mormon fundamentalist "child bride" to me.

"Sarah" may have been found. If this lead is reliable, the abused 16-year-old FLDS child bride imprisoned at YFZ ranch in Texas is actually a 33-year-old prankster from Colorado Springs, Colorado named Rozita Swinton.

The FBI and Texas Rangers reportedly traced the call to Swinton, and the Rangers were in town to interview her Wednesday night -- that is, the night before the legal hearing began in Judge Walther's courtroom. This tends to italicize the point I made above: Judge Walther should have made confirming the validity of "Sarah"'s charge, or at least her existence, the first order of business on which everything else was contingent.

If Swinton is "Sarah," the entire rationale for the raid is invalid, of course. Not that this would deter the state of Texas from keeping the FLDS children anyway.

I remarked above about the manifold and ever-multiplying ironies of this case. We learn now that it was an adult black woman who most likely made the "Sarah" call, an irony best understood by those who know that the FLDS sect, like pre-1978 mainstream Mormonism, teaches that people of African ancestry bear a divine "curse" and thus they must not "mix their seed" with the elect.

Here's an audio recording of Warren Jeffs teaching that point a few years ago.

Here's Jeffs quoting a sermon by Brigham Young on the subject.

Here's a photographic reproduction of an August 1954 address by LDS apostle Mark E. Petersen (he's the official who first described schismatic polygamists as "Mormon fundamentalists") laying out this doctrine in some detail.

To their credit, the leaders of the mainstream Mormon Church changed that doctrine in 1978.

(Hat tip: Grits for Breakfast.)


I'm greatly indebted to Connor Boyack for bringing this video to my attention:

This is the kind of horrifying, Soviet-style psychological torture regularly perpetrated by the child "welfare" system in Texas. Oh, but according to the testimony of Commissarina Angie Voss of the Texas DFPS, what is really scary is the sight of polite, cooperative, well-behaved children living in a small, insular, crowded, but peaceful religious community:

"Angie Voss testified she was escorted onto the YFZ Ranch in nearby Eldorado the night of April 3 by law enforcement officers. She was accompanied by a dozen case workers investigating complaints initially lodged by a 16-year-old girl named Sarah....

Voss said investigators hoped to find her among what they believed were about 150 people on the ranch.

In reality, there were more than 600 people there.

The supervisor testified that two men willingly let them inside after they had passed what she described as a guard tower several stories high with stairs leading to the top. She said there were men stationed at the tower.

She said she asked if there were any girls named Sarah living at the ranch. `They shook their heads and said there were no Sarahs living at the ranch,' Voss said....

She said the girls filed in and appeared polite and respectful, but she was nevertheless concerned.

`It was a very scary environment — intimidating. I was afraid. I saw men all over. It felt like the schoolhouse was surrounded,' she said, `It was a fearful kind of environment.'

Six hours after being on the ranch and talking to a variety of girls, Voss said the decision was made to remove some of the children from the complex."

The situation was "scary" in what way? Well, y'see, there was this palpable sense of incipient violence hanging in the air like the scent of an impending thunderstorm:

"`I heard a report that a tank was coming on the property. Things were getting more scary to me. It was a situation of a very huge magnitude with so many law enforcement officers around,' she testified. The case workers wanted to interview the children in an environment that didn't seem `so scary and dangerous.'"

Which is to say: The situation was "scary" because of the presence of the paramilitary Berserkers who had been sent to help Voss and her comrades kidnap the kids!

So we're back to the old Bastiat formula for totalitarian government intervention -- creating the "poison" and the "antidote" in the same laboratory. Or, if you will, leaving the arsonists in charge of the fire department -- or the abusers in charge of the child "protection" apparatus.

Oh, and one last, and very important tidbit: Miss Voss has "worked" with the child survivors of the last significant venture in armed child "protection" to take place in Texas, the 1993 annihilation of the Branch Davidian community at Mt. Carmel.

On sale now!

Dum spiro, pugno!