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Few Are Left at Texas Fundamentalist Mormon Community

Posted on May 13, 2008 by
- 1 Comment

The news coverage of the Texas fundamentalist Morman community that was raided by Texas authorities last month has dies down recently. This article in the Dallas Morning News gives a good picture of the raid’s effect on the 700 person community, where only a few dozen remain to keep up the physical plant and manage the legal crisis.

Emptiness echoes off this polygamist community’s once-lush lawns, now parched and brown.

And the schoolhouse sits frozen in time, its half-finished spelling tests and chalky blackboard lessons a reminder of the religious sect’s absent children.

Standing amid Nike Air Jordan sneakers and orthopedic house shoes on the porch of one of the commune’s few occupied homes, Kathryn Jessop offers a pained smile. She said she wishes she’d never taken for granted the sound of her grandchildren’s voices as they traipsed across the lawn collecting wildflowers or recited their evening prayers.“These children have been so happy here,” said Mrs. Jessop, who was seized from her own childhood home 55 years ago in the infamous Short Creek, Ariz., raid. “To be taken away from your parents, from everything you know – I didn’t think I’d see this again in my lifetime.”

The fate of the community and the children still remains open and is in the hands of the courts at this point.

Read the article in the Dallas Morning News.

One Reply to “Few Are Left at Texas Fundamentalist Mormon Community”


From the editorial tone in portraying the abandoned community in Texas, I worry that this letter will deteriorate and lose the promising appeal in recovering “community.”
The polygamist communities disband and reform regularly, usually to avoid prosecution. This one was full of congenital defects stemming from constant intermarriage within two families.
Even without the abuses at this site, re-encountering “community” does not equate with return to anyone’s tribal law.
Concern for the victims is one thing, but even when the victims support the perpetrators (ala Patty Hearst), such things as forced marriage here, female circumcision there, cannot be mandated within groups. Sorry, the world moves on. Try to read ” Under the Banner of Heaven,” bestseller by Jon Krakauer which covers these “communities” and their psychological toolbox throughout their US history.

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