King George 28, State of Texas 20
18. At least one of the “children” CPS took into custody is actually an adult. A CPS spokesman said, “We consider the woman an adult.” Nonetheless, CPS still claims custody of her baby boy – the first FLDS baby who was born in state custody – even though there is no rational basis I can arrive at for claiming the baby had either been abused before it was born or was in imminent danger of being trained to become a sexual predator. It took CPS over a month to concede the mother is an adult, even though the lawyer representing her stated, “We had solid proof, including state-issued documents.” Meanwhile, there are still 26 more “children” in CPS custody who claim to be adults.
Update: As of 21 May, there are now 8 “children” who have been certified as adults … and one of them was 27 years old.
Update: As of 22 May, there are now 15 FLDS mothers identified by CPS as “children” who have been certified as adults.
Update: As of 13 June, there are now 26 FLDS mothers or pregnant females identified by CPS as “children” who have been certified as adults. It appears that the initial FLDS claims were far more accurate than the CPS claims.
19. The Bishop’s List, a set of church records that was used in the initial court hearings, has now been released, and it is most shocking for its lack of corroboration of government claims. During initial court hearings in April, state lawyers “focused in on 10 women between the ages of 16 and 19 listed as married to older men. Five were listed as having children.” Now that the list has been released, what does it actually reveal?
I reviewed the ages and family relationships documented in these records and found there were 5 females who were listed as wives and whose ages, as given in these church records, indicate that they would have been minors at the time of the raid. Four of these five minors were 17 at the time of the raid, and the fifth was either 16 years and 11 months old or 17 years old (depending on exactly when her birthday falls). The other 114 wives were all 18 years or older. Of the five females who were minors at the time of the raid, three of them clearly did not have children at the time the data about their family was documented, and the other two may or may not have had children (the family lists on which their names appear do not indicate which children belong to which wife). Here are some other interesting statistics from the list:
- 38 households (one-third monagamous; two-thirds polygamous)
- average age of husbands (at the times their age was recorded) = 33.8 years
- average age of wives (at the times their age was recorded) = 30.9 years
20. In the continuation of what appears to be a government trend to air unsubstantiated allegations, DFPS reported as a “cause for concern” that at least 41 of the children had at some point suffered from broken bones. A CPS spokesman indicated they didn’t know at what age the bones were broken or which bones were broken. This report could indeed be a cause for concern, unless one does a bit of arithmetic.
Let’s assume that the average age of the children in state custody is 8 (of course, the average age may be higher than that, depending on how many of the “children” are adults). With 464 children in custody at the time the issue of broken bones was raised, the children had lived a total of 3,712 years (if you combine all of their ages together). With an incidence of 41 broken bones in 3,712 total years of life, that’s an average of 90 years of life per broken bone. Of course, the true value would be somewhat less than 90 years per broken bone, depending on how many children suffered multiple breaks. Nonetheless, that figure strikes me as a respectable safety record.
On the other hand, one child had broken her arm within the first 27 days in state custody. With 464 children in state custody for a total of less than 27 days each, the children had collectively spent a total of less than 35 years of life in custody at the time the first bone was broken. So, if DFPS reports that one broken bone within something on the order of 90 years of parental care represents “cause for concern”, one would have to conclude – by the same logic – that one broken bone in 35 years of state custody represents cause for alarm. Unfortunately, government officials seem eager to not just ignore critical thinking skills in evaluating anonymous phone calls (see item 13 from a previous post), but they also seem to be busier airing allegations than analyzing the probability of bone breakage among a population that large. The bone breakage report leads me to look with a more jaded eye at any future allegations the state may level at the FLDS.
On the same day the bone breakage report was aired, DFPS also reported that they had uncovered evidence of boys suffering sexual abuse at the YFZ ranch; however, it was not until the following day that an anonymous state official pointed out that the alleged sexual abuse had been performed by other boys and not by adults. In my opinion, if the state intends to oversee legal proceedings rather than a smear campaign, and if it was known at the time of the initial announcement that the suspected perpetrators were boys and not adults, that fact should have been announced when the sexual abuse allegation was first discussed in public.
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