Recently, 416 children were removed from the Yearning for Zion (YFZ) Ranch in Eldorado, Texas, because the cult, part of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints movement led by Warren Jeffs, was suspected of abusing the children and taking underage women as wives as a part of their polygamist practices.
Many of the women from the compound claim that they are not brainwashed and that they are very happy and living holy lives in accordance with “true Mormon” teachings in the YFZ Ranch; however, I don’t believe that these women know what it’s like to live a life outside of a cult.
These women claim that they weren’t abused, but after a supposed 16-year-old girl reported that she was being beaten by her husband while she was pregnant with her second child and while another woman held her infant, there is no way that many other women weren’t being abused as well.
The alleged 16-year-old is the seventh wife of her abuser, so most likely he is abusing his six other wives as well.
Many of the women who originally accompanied the children who were removed have returned to the ranch, but I believe they did so because it’s the only thing that they know. The women of the YFZ Ranch may be alive, but they aren’t really living because they don’t know anything different than the way that they grew up – inside of the compound.
I think it’s a good thing that the children were pulled out of the cult. A judge recently ruled that many of the children be put in foster care which will give them a chance to live life outside of a polygamist environment and to see what they deserve in life. I don’t agree with polygamy, but it’s a part of this group’s religion, so I don’t have a problem with it except when it harms the married people and there is little room for doubt about the harm being done inside the YFZ Ranch. Young women and girls in this cult are alleged to have been forced to marry men 30 years older than them against their will. That is just sick.
These men need to get off of their high-horses and realize that they can’t always just take what they want and I am glad that these children were taken away from these twisted men so no more of them have to be put through this sick experience.
Any men from the compound who are discovered to have abused young girls deserve to be thrown in jail and the women from the compound need to see what life is like outside of the cult.
This raid and the subsequent fostering of the children will hopefully help both the women and children to realize the degree of brainwashing they have undergone and learn that life inside this cult is neither normal nor holy.