Did False Reports Trigger the Raid on the Texas Polygamists?

This month, over 400 infants, children, and teens were removed from the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS) community in Eldorado, Texas, by Child Protective Services. There had been reports of underaged girls being forced to marry much older men. Specifically, a 16-year-old girl named Sarah phoned a Texas women’s shelter to report that she was being held captive in Eldorado by her new husband.

The Eldorado children and adult members of the community are currently undergoing DNA testing to determine parentage. The children will be placed in temporary foster care until the testing and investigation are complete.

For two weeks beginning on March 30, ex-FLDS member Flora Jessop (who helps teen girls leave FLDS communities) received alarming phone calls from Sarah’s twin sister, Laura, who claimed to be in the FLDS community in Colorado City, Arizona. She told Jessop she was being molested by her father.
Jessop and the Texas Rangers have now tentatively identified “Sarah” and “Laura” as Rozita Swinton, a 33-year-old black woman from Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is not a member of the FLDS church. She was arrested for making unrelated false reports, posing as an abused 13-year-old. Three years ago, Swinton was caught pretending to be an abused, suicidal 16-year-old girl with a newborn baby.

A CPS spokeswoman says she believes Sarah exists, but to date the girl has not been found.

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11 thoughts on “Did False Reports Trigger the Raid on the Texas Polygamists?

  1. SME…The early interviews broadcast on TV were some of the most eerie cult people I can ever remember seeing. Although they looked like more traditional religious sects that do not cut their hair, they had a disembodied sound to their voice. Had they been space aliens, they couldn’t have been more weird. The polygamist men really must be a wacked out bunch, what there are of them. Seems that they cast the boys off. The “lost boys” of polygamist cults. Hmmm? Extra roosters aren’t needed in these chicken coops. Child molesters are probably wondering where they can sign up?

  2. They are a strange lot, but with leader Jeffs in jail, I’m not sure that taking away ALL the children was necessary. In Texas, girls 16 years of age can marry with their parents’ permission, so authorities should have first ascertained that girls younger than that were being married in the community. Yes, the FLDS has a history, but it seems to me that CPS jumped the gun this time.

  3. I think planning a raid after a series of unverified reports was a bad call. And why the DNA tests? Can’t they just ask people to identify their own children?

  4. But due diligence on the part of the police means making a move if there’s even a whisper of a threat.They need DNA tests because the sect doesn’t do birth certificates and the authorities need to know definitively who belongs to whom, and that way they can also ascertain if there were any children born to underaged mothers married to older men.I don’t know…We might have to agree to disagree on this one. This sect has been flouting the law for so long and so egregiously that I think something like this was the only way to start the ball rolling on getting some justice done.I really recommend the Daphne Bramham book. I know I had some issues with the research, but it was extensively detailed. It’s a complicated group of people with complicated issues…

  5. SME – I didn’t realize that you were also the author of “The Devil Appears” blog which I also greatly enjoyed/respected. I was a member of Kerr Cuhulain’s Wiccan Information Network, during the satanic panic years, and worked as a volunteer civilian advisor to members of EPD & RCMP on the subject. I have a big box of documents from that time that I’m looking to pass on to the right person. If you are interested please write me through:edmontonguysATgmail.com-Roy Harrold

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  7. sme…Rotten spam troll got this post too. hehehe! Oh, what about the reports of injuries to the children, broken bones and the like. Sounds like a sick bunch all in the name of religion.

  8. Oh they’re sickos all right, not much doubt about it. Only a cult could get women to dress like that. ;PNo, seriously, I see the FLDS as much like the Amish (only pervier and more likely to sponge off the government). I say leave them to their weirdness unless there’s solid evidence of wrongdoing. Anonymous phone calls from a single source shouldn’t result in full-out, Waco-style raids, nor should rumors spread by critics of the cult. Er, church.Now spammers, on the other hand…they need to do some hard time.

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