Once again Canada is leading the way and showing by their actions that they take the safety and protection of their children seriously, and they intend to do something about it.
Brandon and Gail Blackmore have been convicted of trafficking their own 13-year-old daughter from Canada to Utah and then witnessed her wedding to Warren Jeffs, who was then the 49-year-old leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS). At nearly four times her age, Warren added her to his collection of around 80 “wives.”
A child, sheltered from “outside” influences, she was handed off in a religious ceremony where she was required to promise to “go forth and multiply and replenish the earth.”
She had been indoctrinated – for her entire lifetime and in every aspect of her life – to believe he held the keys to her salvation, was God’s mouthpiece on earth, and had the authority to receive revelation as to whom she “belonged” to in marriage. It was a great privilege to marry the prophet, and brought prestige and status to the parents of a girl worthy of such an honor – especially at such a young age.
Her parents are still convinced they did nothing wrong, which, incidentally, is why I think they need to receive a harsh punishment so that they and others will reconsider who they are willing to “give” their children to.
According to this op-ed post by Daphne Bramham:
“At a sentencing hearing last week, Brandon Blackmore’s lawyer acknowledged that even though Jeffs excommunicated his client in 2012, Blackmore, 71, isn’t exactly remorseful.”
Gail Blackmore, 60, was appointed a “friend of the court,” Joe Doyle, who argued that “the media coverage of the trial was punishment enough and a big enough signal to deter others.”
Excuse me, but, in what universe?!
What rock has this man been living under?! Does he honestly believe that a little media coverage is going to change the minds of thousands of people who are laboring under hundreds of years of indoctrination? Not hardly. In fact, they see themselves as martyrs to the cause and this case as proof that their prophet and religion is true and this is simply the “persecution of the righteous” that he foretold of. (An easy prediction to make when you know you’re raping children.)
For dozens of young girls, the system of protections that we would expect in civilized society failed them. First, their parents. Then their religious leaders. For some, their sisters even assisted in their rape. All of these people have used religious freedom as their excuse, along with the justification that they were “just doing what they were told.” And then they cry “persecution” when they face the consequences of their actions.
Yes, in some ways, many of these people are victims as well. But that’s no excuse. It’s also no excuse for law enforcement and judicial agencies to continue to turn a blind eye to the abuses that occur all too often in this nation.
The evidence gathered – the church records, etc. – had enough information in them to bring charges against many parents for trading off their daughters as child brides to much older men. But there were no charges made, that I’m aware of. Except now, in Canada.
But what awaited this child, along with the many others who Warren chose as his “wives”? We can either assume the worst, or pacify our outrage and sense of justice by assuming the best, but I prefer to look at facts.
The things I’m going to present in this post are disturbing. But they aren’t “accusations” of acts that “allegedly” happened. The things I’m presenting I transcribed from Warren’s own words, in his own voice. I am going to share some quotes from a lesson given by Warren S. Jeffs to a group of his “wives” – the bolded and underlined emphasis added by me. (The full transcription, can be found here. The recording is in two parts, which can be found here and here.)
This training was given to a group of his “wives,” about how to abide the “Fullness of the Law of Sarah,” and the “Ordinance of Heavenly Comfort.” It begins thus:
“Now I reveal to you, what the Lord has required of me and this family, that the fullness of the Law of Sarah is for quorums of wives, to be with me. To assist me. To be a comfort. Yes, even physically. Where more than one woman is with me at a time.
“When Sarah administered unto Abraham, in the fullness of the law, she was with Abraham and Hagar, sexually, together. And that is the fullness of the Law of Sarah.
“I came to this Land of Refuge, at 11:15, October 12th, 11:15 at night. There were seven ladies here, doing a work, and they were ladies who had experience with me, who were trained. Most of them had witnessed Heavenly Sessions. They know of the all-consuming fire. They were unclothed, I had them put on their white robes.”
After reading parts of “revelation,” he continued:
“Starting in August this year, when the Lord was ready to scourge and destroy this people, for rejecting him – by not being prepared to build the temple, by not being Zion – he required that I come to this land quickly, and atone for the people. The atonements have come to such a severity that I’m taken right close to death. It is a heavenly justice administered.
“And my ladies, at the right moment, are called to assist me. And through their tenderness, and in their wifely, womanly, ways, are able to revive me. I am not to go into the hands of the medical people, for they would destroy me. And the Lord has appointed that my wives who are filled with the holy ghost can help revive me as that eternal, heavenly justice is completed.”
Notice how he places guilt, shame, and responsibility for holding off a scourge on these wives, to assist him in these atonements in order to save the people from destruction. His wives are to bring him back from near death by the “ordinance of Heavenly Comfort.” He then corrects their “false traditions” (traditions, by the way, that were created in my own life by his teachings):
“Many women thought, “Oh, sexual relations is so wicked, and so bad to be tempted that way,” they only want to have a child and then never touch you. I’m telling you, Celestial morals is, do all you do with the spirit of God – your touch, your words, your all – to be directable. You don’t allow the sexual desires and contacts to rule. You become a comfort and strength and receive comfort and strength. You have to know how to be excited, sexually, and to be exciting – to administer that comfort and strength. And you have to be able to assist each other. No one just stands around. Everyone assists, and you have to be prepared to be trained to do this, against the time I would need your help. The Lord’s help, through you. (Naomie Talking about Assisting)
“So listen carefully, as the Lord intended that my ladies, all of my ladies, be trained. He’s been merciful to give us his own words through his own presence.”
All of his ladies. (Even the 23 of them he married when they were from age 12 – 17.)
“When I’m in a session and I call for you, very often I’ll have you touch my hand, or my head, or my foot, and your spirit will be discerned. The Lord will show me if he allows you to stay in the room. If you’re not ready you’ll be sent out. Only those the Lord names can be with me. As I cannot allow people to be present who have unbelief, selfish feelings, jealousy, or fears, for they would drive away the heavenly powers. The work the Lord has for me to do is just too important to allow emotional wives to be with me. Or doubting ones, or fearful ones. Only those that are prepared.
“And you always come, in my area, already showered.* Already ready, in case you’re called to assist. This is a training of words, with some works. To break down your false traditions. I repeat to you: this is not to be known. This is the Lord establishing, among us, the Celestial Law on earth, in my family. Because no other man is that marred servant, called upon to go through the atonement. For other men to do this, the Lord not appointing it, they would lose Priesthood. Their wives would lose their place. If you were to do any of this without my direct appointment, you could lose your place.”
I have been told that some of these young girls wrote confession letters to Warren – their great “husband” and Lord – asking for forgiveness because as they were involved in these “sessions” they felt guilty.
Being told this was “pure” and “of god” they believed it must have been their own wickedness that made them feel so uncomfortable. I haven’t seen these letters, but it would make sense. As I came to learn of what Warren had really been doing, a lot of things started to make more sense. Like the strong teachings that once a girl was married she belonged to her husband’s family and shouldn’t be talking with her former family, especially her mother, or revealing her husband’s weaknesses or secrets. Hmmm, that’s convenient – for him.
“And that is Celestial morals. Do all you do through prayer and the spirit of God, being directed to do. But when you’re with me you must be inspired. I’m often taken so low I can’t even talk, and you have to be inspired, work together, and assist me. Again, these are just words. Very few of my ladies have been allowed to be with me, and assist me in the fullness of the Law of Sarah. Most of the ladies know of this training, but very few have been allowed to assist me. Because it takes a heavenly gift, present in you, to be here.”
Once again, a warning or threat, that if you question or hesitate you will be sent away and not allowed to participate. Being sent away from the prophet is spiritual death.
“You’ve properly been trained, all your life, to keep your body covered. You must do more so than ever before, toward others and when I’m not present. And when a quorum of wives is called forth to administer, it has to be so natural to you. It will become so natural that you’re as comfortable undressed as dressed when you’re around each other.”
Imagine a 12, 13, 14-year-old child in this situation! The man they believe is their prophet, who speaks for God, is giving them these instructions and warnings. They are hundreds of miles from home, aren’t allowed any contact with their mother or other family, and completely at the mercy of this man’s vile desires.
“I am very married. All that I’m interested in is earning more of the spirit of God, and your relationship with me is that very thing. We will be together and feel the heavenly fire and accomplish the Lord’s will and nothing less. Children will result. You helping me will result in that time of need. Perhaps you may be with me when I’m not down and out, and low. But we should always be filled with the heavenly fire in our connections.
“The Lord showed me I don’t always have to be right close to death before my ladies are with me, but they do need to be one, everyone filled with the spirit of God.
“You ladies just don’t know how men out in the world.”
THIS is what Brandon and Gail Blackmore and many other parents surrendered their children to.
THIS is what many hundreds of parents would do again today, in a heartbeat, if they were told to.
THIS is the kind of man Warren S. Jeffs was and is today.
THIS is the man who still demands (and receives) unquestioning obedience from his followers. Followers who refuse to open their eyes and realize who and what they are following. Even these parents who are facing jail time still believe they’ve done nothing wrong, and because of that fact, (that has been voiced and testified of even recently.)** I believe that more parents need to face legal consequences for their part in selling off their innocent children to save their own standing in their religion, otherwise nothing will change.
Laws are only as effective if they are enforced. When they are allowed to be broken without consequence it emboldens the perpetrators to the point that when charges finally come, they feel persecuted.
When will the United States follow the example of their Northern neighbors and show, by their actions, by the enforcement of LAW, that they care about the safety and protection of their innocent children?
If you found out that your 12, 13, 14, or even 17-year-old child was subjected to this, wouldn’t you want justice?
Shouldn’t you want justice even when it’s not your child?
*There is another training where Warren is giving a lesson to a group of ladies on this subject where he has Naomie give instructions on how to shave the hair off their bodies and be washed in preparation to be used in these “Heavenly Sessions.” I’m looking for that to transcribe next, very disturbing.
**The podcasts done by Lindsay Hansen Park, with “Mother Irene;” several recent newspaper reports where faithful FLDS people still pledge their allegiance to Warren Jeffs; etc.