Our news in Phoenix has been dominated by the guilty verdict against Warren Jeffs, the leader of the fundamentalist LDS sect that believes men should have multiple wives in order to get to heaven. How this works, demographically, is apparently still God's mystery. Since about half of humankind is born male, numbers alone would dictate that this is a religion destined for trouble. Only a few select males get wives at all, and the closer a guy is to the prophet, the better his chances of being selected.
Naturally the women have no say in this. Their lot in life is to submit to the husband selected for them by the prophet. No whining, ladies!
The case arose when a former member of the sect was able to get charges brought against Jeffs for ordering her to marry her 19 year old cousin when she was 14. She resisted with the few resources available to her, mainly pleading with Jeffs to withdraw his demand. He insisted and the "marriage" was consummated, much against the girl's will.
She escaped from the group, and her testimony allowed Jeffs to be arrested and tried for "rape as an accomplice". He was convicted this week and faces sentencing soon.
In all the news about the case, though, nothing is written about charges against the "husband". Surely if Jeffs was an accomplice to rape, then the act to which he was an accomplice was rape. Why hasn't the husband been so charged?
There is so much about the handling of this bunch of loonies that I just don't understand. Arizona authorities dithered for years before bringing up this charge, even though welfare fraud, tax fraud and numerous other kinds of fraud were rampant. The sect collected millions in school funds, even though the school was shut down and all the children were home schooled. The money was spent on things like a private airplane for the sect leaders and large farm machinery.
While the Arizona attorney general's office dithered publicly about the situation, the sect leaders were hauling all the loot purchased with school funds to a new headquarters somewhere in Texas. It will be interesting to see whether other charges are brought against other FLDSers, or whether the AG just waits for all this attention to die down and the whole sect has moved to Texas.