A frightening parallel: European Jews and the FLDS sect

“In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.” – Martin Niemoller, on the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power.

It seems appropriate that this post should come on Passover, the day that Jews all over the world celebrate the exodus from enslavement in Egypt, because for Jews like myself, today is a day to be thankful (and vigilant) for religious freedom. Today is also a day to remember the way a group of humans in Europe mistreated (and eventually began exterminating) other groups of humans, simply because they did not live in a manner deemed proper by mainstream culture. Today we remember the Nazis, and their ideas of a perfect society and a final solution. Today we watch the news, and we hear about a Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) accused of–at the very least–child abuse and gender discrimination. We rush to judgment, which we base on what is considered mainstream, proper, or even perfect, about our own society.  If we are to learn anything from history, we must constantly compare our society to the facts of the past, and we must continue to utter, to declare, to yell and scream and burn into the hearts and souls of anyone who will listen, “NEVER AGAIN!”

When I read the headlines, and watch the cable news clips of these people, I am reminded of my Jewish grandmother, whose Passover Seder I attended this evening. She is 86 years old, an immigrant from pre-World War II Poland. Her family lived in a small town that was separated from “mainstream” European culture. Everyone there was Jewish, and everyone spoke Yiddish–think “Fiddler on the Roof”, where arranged marriages, traditional clothing, and gender roles were simply a way of life. Families were generally happy there, as they are in any society, but their way of life was very different. Dotting the landscape of southeast Europe before World War II were hundreds of towns just like hers, where free and good people–Jewish people–lived in relative peace, away from the bustle of liberal European philosophy and culture, which was probably most advanced in Germany.  Despite its destruction, the world of my grandmother’s childhood was a unique but legitimate society, with mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, morals, customs, and respect for laws and tradition, where young boys played games and young girls exchanged meaningless secrets, and the individual lived, loved, smiled, laughed, cried, and felt the growing pains of youth, and the debilitating pains of age–a culture that lended to its subscribers a different but normal life. It was a self-sufficient bubble, soon to be burst by German tanks and train cars, eventually thrust behind the now infamous fences of concentration camps.

The Jews were just a little bit too indoctrinated, too oddly clad, too nostalgic, too stubborn in their matrimonial traditions to see the enlightenment of proper German culture, and so they had to be dealt with coercively. 

Could it happen here?  It is happening here.  It’s happening to a fundamentalist mormon sect in El Dorado, Texas.   That our own government imitates the beginnings of Nazi oppression is as shocking as it is true.  Although they seem trifling when reflecting on the state-sponsored kidnapping of several hundred children, the media’s headlines reveal the coldness of the collective American soul today, and do great harm to the reputation of our nation’s many good individuals.  Among the top stories in major metropolitan newspapers:

“Sect children will undergo genetic tests” (This headline is Holocaust Museum material.)

“Cult kids will remain in state custody” (It’s strange how the press only refers to their ranch as a “compound,” while the state is the entity actually keeping them locked up.

“Polygamist sect indoctrinated girls” (There is irony when commercial media accuses anyone of indoctrinating girls.)

“400 children saved from Mormon sect amid allegations of child abuse”

“Texas authorities must protect children” (From their parents? Are their parents Meth addicts?)

Taken at gunpoint without explanation, herded to a government facility, and detained endlessly without any presentation of evidence.  As it turns out, the phone call that led authorities to them now appears to be a hoax, and the abused teen girl, “Sarah,” may not even exist. 

Never again to the Jews, the FLDS, or any group.  Never again destroy a peaceful and free people.  Never again assume that people who live differently are living incorrectly.  Never again allow a government to forcefully shape the individual soul.  This is not America.  This is totalitarian hell.  Let these people go.  If you stand with the government on this one, you stand with Hitler.  Sit down.

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11 Responses

  1. your post is so dumb. Comparing thois raid to Hitler.This is about saving children from sexual and physical abuse. Give me a break. 138 women plus 60 men equal 416 children and no one knows who belongs to who.Thats SICK! Your blog is Dumb!

  2. Sally,
    There has been no evidence of sexual assault or physical abuse. What is sick to you may be perfectly acceptable in another culture. If it is customary in Uzbekistan for a woman to marry at thirteen and have multiple husbands, does that mean their nation deserves to be demolished and replaced with a more modern ideal? Would you also suggest we round up every Amish group because they have too many children and get married when they are too young? Your lack of faith in fellow humans shows you to be a cruel, closed-minded, and bigoted person. You wish to legislate morality and expel religions that do not mold to your relative standards. Your suspicion of a peaceful group is the bane of American society, and you are far more dangerous to this country than a million FLDS church members would be, because unlike you, they don’t put their noses in other people’s business. Your thoughts are chilling my rather warm blog, and I hope my blog will have the opposite effect on your thoughts.

  3. […] I don’t have time to go through it line by line, but it’s a very enlightening read. […]

  4. OK, I figured out how to locate your blog.

    I am not a seasoned political person, however, I do have opinions on this subject.
    I have family who survived Hitler. I have family who have their tattoos with their ID number still on the inside of their wrists. I have heard stories from believers of the Mormon religion whom I love and admire. I have heard stories and facts of women who have escaped life in these particular cults.
    In the end I understand to a point where you are trying to go but I have to say I disagree.
    This IS America and there IS a “mainstream.” Some may not like that but it still exists. Our governmnet has laws in place meant to protect us and our women and children. Laws in which bottom line are being ignored, broken, and taught to be ignored and broken.
    These women and children, I believe, have been brainwashed and victimized and in the leaders’ perfect plan, don’t know any better. They are not allowed to leave and are forced to “escape” in the night if they ever want a chance of a different life.
    You are right in that we SHOULD have a grateful heart that we have freedoms such as our religion but in these cults there is no such thing.
    My heart aches that the children are scared and away from their mothers whom I do believe love them. It may not have been a perfect plan that the government executed but I agree something had to be done for those who had no voice or choice.
    Look forward to your reponse.
    The mean girl.

  5. Mean girl,

    I am in agreement with you on nearly every point, and I have reconsidered this from the perspective of natural law. It is often our own indoctrination that enables us to call others “indoctrinated,” and I think most of the arguments in favor of government intervention are from a fascist position, and not a reasoned one. That is not to say that a reasoned argument against mine does not exist. It certainly does, but to pretend that our government has a good hold on human rights would be misleading; one need look no further than the war on terror to see that our government is not the protector of rights that it once was.

    I will say this: polygamy is not natural, and I believe all the necessary laws of society are natural laws. It is undeniable that the society planned by this El Dorado clan will fundamentally fail or resort to inhumane practices. There is a natural reason for the probabilities of gender being split almost exactly 50/50. For their society continue as it does beyond a generation, most men would be left without a mate, or polygamy would naturally cease, or in the worst case, the ratio of males:females would be made artificially smaller, which can only be secured by practices made illegal by both our society and nature.

    Until we are aware of illegal activity, such as child abuse, neglect, abandonment or murder, we should not take these children from their parents. Even then, I believe a pattern of such acts, or any condoning thereof, would need to exist before the entire cult could be dismantled. They will be caught doing these illegal things, or they will change. Nature will find a way, even if we don’t.

    Also, you are not really mean, so far. Thanks for helping me rethink this one. Sometimes I get so angry at the police state that I fail to think clearly.

  6. Interesting. I do not dabble much in politics because I feel that the whole truth is never being told therefore I do not feel safe fully trusting the people behind the scenes. I do vote for who I thinkwould be best in the interest of our country but that is about all.
    Thanks for making me think!
    Carla

  7. It has been recorded by the State of Texas that:

    There are three girls under the age of 18 that the state thinks may be pregnant from FLDS.

    One will be 18 years old in a month, one refused to take a pregnancy test and one whose age is yet to be determined.

    Among the many references to this account: http://origin.sltrib.com/news/ci_9056589
    The Salt Lake Tribune 04/26/2008 05:14:10 PM MDT

    There has been no specific abuse claims, no arrests, no adults detained, no underage pregnancies. (By Texas law, underage is “under 16″).

    But the State is still refusing to release these children. Two children under two years of age are now missing by the State of Texas’s own admission as of

    April 26th; (Though I am sure some logical explanation will come up), several little children are hospitalized as of Friday; one, reportedly is in critical

    condition because he is an infant that did not adjust without his mother’s milk. (rare, but historic among some infants when mothers unexpectedly die). CPS

    openly admitted that having now been exposed to the “mainstream”, many have contracted diseases such as: chicken pox, measles, diarrhea, flu, viruses and

    other ailments which the children were not inoculated for.

    reference: http://www.gosanangelo.com/news/2008/apr/10/cases-of-chickenpox-diagnosed-among-flds/

    Contradicting that origial story, CPS now has firmly laid the blame on the parents, though multiple written and video reports were made when the children and

    women were first taken which contradict this statement. One report in particular is well documented and easily verifiable through Google search or CNN: That

    report: “None of the girls at any age had a blemish on their face”. Like most of America, I was amazed at their perfect appearance of health when they were

    paraded past the cameras. Obviously it was arranged for the cameras to be there when they were seized, so why don’t we see the pictures of these children

    now? CPS and Emergency Child Care providers raised concern last week that many of the children are rapidly losing weight, as they have never eaten or been

    exposed to preservatives, pestisides, salt, sugar, citric acid additives, and other processed food ingrediants.

    Disturbing also is that children of all ages were stripped of their clothes and “physically” examined without the presence of their mothers and asked sexual

    questions which they may never have been exposed to. This is the action which the mothers are currently decrying as abuse by the State. (iF you are

    wondering)

    And of course, as we all now know, (providing you have some education on the subject), the State of Texas has now concluded that the original call made by

    the now arrested 33 year old Rozita Swinton of Colorado Springs who claimed to be a 16 year old named “Sarah”, was a hoax.

    Though Nancy Grace keeps telling America that parents show little concern to regain their children, we can simply search Google to find the many news

    accounts of the parents who surrounded the court house and the holding places of their children in an effort to regain them. Very shortly after one of those

    incidents, the State of Texas abrubtly decided to bus the children over 100 miles away.

    Those of you who judged and made accusations should hope someone other than a person like yourselves is around to defend you should you have the misfortune

    of having your life torn apart if someone should take your child.

    What do I summize? I am not sure, but see if you can get your head around this. The Pentagon paid Warren Jeffs 1.7 million dollars. At least that’s what

    Anderson Cooper says: http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/04/17/polygamy.pentagon/index.html

    Tragic.

  8. the media doesn’t deal in truth and there is no ‘freedom’ other than in our minds.

    no matter where you live or what your beliefs are, (religious or political), we are all ‘slaves’ to the system in which we live and now that there isn’t any alternative to capitalism/imperialism there is no ‘escape’

    “all that’s in fear is fear itself”

    themusicologist

  9. Anyone who could not see this for what is was, an attempt to wipe out a religion, from the outset needs to seriously examine you’re thought process.

    Since when does our government, state or national kidnap an entire towns children with no evidence other than a phone call.

    Someone, and I know there has to be someone, with enough stones and influence needs to step up and call this what it is, wrong.

  10. So let’s say maybe 1 or 2% of the FLDS kids are abused … do they raid MY subdivision full of lovely mainstream protestants whose kids are unloved, bulimic, drug addicted, indulging in underage sex and illegal drugs?

    Noooo of course not. That would be an outrage.

    One more thing: Why limit your parallel to Euro Jews? Contemporary Orthodox Jews are a good target – Kiryas Joel in NY … when will the police raid that? IT COULD HAPPEN!

  11. read this and tell me if that does not sound like the nazis?

    (if you have no children these words may ring false false in your ears)

    “When the children under 5 realized their mothers would be taken away, the children started crying and screaming, requiring CPS workers to pry many from their mothers”

    – – from wikipedia

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